Το να κάνεις ένα αυτοκίνητο ελαφρύτερο, με χρήση αλουμινίου και εξωτερικών υλικών, σίγουρα το κάνεις να έχει μικρότερη κατανάλωση. Μέχρι σήμερα το αλουμίνιο και το carbon ήταν τα υλικά εκείνα που επέλεγαν κατά κόρον οι αυτοκινητοβιομηχανίες ώστε να αντικαταστήσουν τον χάλυβα, αλλά εν έτη 2012, οι κατασκευαστές κάνουν στροφή στη νανοτεχνολογία.

H GM έχει επενδύσει στην NanoSteel, ώστε αυτή να αναπτύξει έναν νέο κράμα χάλυβα, το οποίο θα είναι ελαφρύτερο και πιο εύκολο στη κατασκευή του. Το νέο κράμα θα είναι σημαντικά ελαφρύτερο από τον παραδοσιακό χάλυβα και θα μπορεί να κατασκευαστεί με τις συμβατικές υπάρχουσες διαδικασίες και δεν χρειάζονται νέα μηχανήματα ή τεχνικές συγκόλλησης.

Στις σχετικές ειδήσεις της GM, ο CEO της Dan Akerson αγόρασε επιπλέον 25.000 μετοχές της GM, συνολικής αξίας 500.000 δολαρίων, ανεβάζοντας έτσι τον αριθμό των μετοχών του στις 272.838, αξίας 1.8 εκατ. δολαρίων. Τέλος η GM θα βγάλει και την Buick έκδοση του Volt/Ampera μέσα στο 2013.

[Πηγή: NanoSteel, The Detroit News, insideevs]

Δελτίο Τύπου

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The NanoSteel® Company, a leader in nano-structured steel materials design, today announced that General Motors Ventures LLC has invested in the company.

GM Ventures, a General Motors subsidiary created to invest in promising automotive technologies, joined lead shareholders EnerTech Capital and Fairhaven Capital Partners and five existing investors to complete the Series C financing round. Terms of the GM Ventures investment were not disclosed.

“We are investing in NanoSteel because of the opportunity associated with their new steel alloy technology,” said Jon Lauckner, GM’s chief technology officer, vice president of Global R&D and president of GM Ventures LLC. “Over the next several years, light-weighting of vehicles will be a major focus area to improve fuel economy. NanoSteel’s nano-structured alloys offer unique material characteristics that are not available today, making them a potential game-changer.”

Through the development of patented alloys, NanoSteel has created a new class of steel that allows automotive engineers and designers to reduce weight through the use of thinner, higher strength gauges while maintaining the structural integrity needed for safety. NanoSteel’s new steel design is an alternative to other light-weighting materials which may cost more, require new investment in parts production and have performance limitations.

“GM Ventures investment in NanoSteel demonstrates its confidence in our company’s potential to achieve widespread impact on the auto industry through our proprietary steel designs,” said Dave Paratore, president and CEO of NanoSteel. “With the support of General Motors’ automotive expertise and technology leadership, we can accelerate the final phases of development of our nano-structured AHSS in the quest to economically lightweight vehicles.”

Reducing vehicle weight is critical to automakers in achieving higher fuel efficiencies and meeting rigorous new U.S. Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards.

About NanoSteel NanoSteel is the world leader in proprietary nano-structured steel material designs. Over its ten-year history, NanoSteel has created progressive generations of iron-based alloys from surface coatings to monolithic steel. For the oil & gas, mining and power industries, NanoSteel has successfully introduced commercial applications of metallic coatings to prolong service lifetime in the most extreme industrial environments. For the automotive industry, NanoSteel has achieved a significant breakthrough in the development of nano-structured sheet steel with exceptional strength and ductility. NanoSteel is a privately held company funded by lead shareholders EnerTech and Fairhaven Capital. For more information, visit www.nanosteelco.com or follow us on Twitter @NanoSteelCo.

About General Motors Ventures General Motors Ventures, LLC, is a subsidiary designed to help the company identify and develop innovative technologies in the automotive/transportation sector. General Motors Ventures has been funded with an initial investment of $100 million, and is currently exploring equity investments in a number of auto-related technologies and business models. More information can be found at www.gmventures.com.