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BASF showcases Smart Forvision concept car in India
BASF, the world’s largest diversified chemical company, has showcased the Smart Forvision electric concept car at the Indo-German Urban Mela in New Delhi, that promotes the Sustainable Urbanisation theme. The construction of the Smart Forvision electric car vehicle takes the sustainable mobility concept a step forward.
First showcased at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Smart Forvision concept, jointly developed by Daimler and BASF, employs visionary materials and technologies, some of which are still at a laboratory stage. BASF has incorporated, transparent organic light emitting diodes, plastic wheels, new lightweight body components, infrared reflective coatings and films that are all used as a wholesome approach to reduce energy consumption.
While limited energy consumption is dealt with, transparent organic solar cells based on organic-chemical dyes on the roof of the car can convert sunlight into electricity. The hexagonal panel on the roof is the world’s first transparent solar panel that has a thin film of organic solar cells which can generate electricity for the car’s multimedia and ventilation systems. This means that the battery of the electric car is not drained by anything other than the lights and the drivetrain. Also, the transparent solar panel allows natural light to flow into the cabin through the roof, just like a sunroof.
The weight of the car has been reduced by substituting load bearing components like the chassis of the car with fibre-reinforced plastic. Even the wheels of the car are made out of plastic, of an Ultramid structure that makes it as stable as metal while reducing weight by as much as 30 per cent.
Air-conditioning systems consume a lot of power (as much as 30 per cent) in cars. Which is why, the Smart Forvision uses innovative high performance insulating materials and polymer films in the windows to maintain a stable cabin temperature to ensure minimal use of the its cooling and heating systems.
One of the primary drawbacks of electric cars is a limited driving range. Technologies to reduce the load on the battery while generating more electricity will definitely add a more practical edge to the electric car.