Previously we had posted that carbon nanotube forests could be integrated to make composite materials 3-5 times more durable.
Others including Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute have noted that being able to make cars out of lightweight composites would save a lot of fuel.
Futurepundit notes that
replacing half the ferrous metals in current automobiles could reduce a vehicle’s weight by 60 percent and fuel consumption by 30 percent, according to some studies. The resulting gains in fuel efficiency, made in part because smaller engines could be used with lighter vehicles, would also reduce greenhouse gas and other emissions by 10 percent to 20 percent..
All of this would come with no sacrifice in safety, as preliminary results of computer crash simulations show that cars made from carbon fiber would be just as safe – perhaps even safer – than today’s automobiles. Today’s Formula 1 racers are required by mandate to be made from carbon fiber to meet safety requirements.
We noted here the current most fuel efficient SUVs
Lightweight ceramics combined with better batteries would make for fantastic plug in hybrids that could get 330 mpg or more
Other forms of transportation:
Segways can get the equivalent of 450mpg based on the amount of gas it would take to create the electricity needed to run it
Folding electric bikes do even better and can be taken onto public transit at all times One could use composites or magnesium for the body and lithium ion for the batteries and get the bikes down to 15 lbs or less. You also would not need a 10 pound lock since you could fold the bike and take it to your office or whereever you are going.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.