Daimler and German chemical company BASF have teamed up to produce the electric Smart Forvision concept vehicle which premiered at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show. The result is a futuristic-looking Smart car with several innovations designed to maximize energy efficiency from the electric drivetrain.
The Smart Forvision concept uses five new technologies designed to conserve as well as generate energy: transparent organic solar cells, transparent organic light-emitting diodes, new lightweight components, plastic wheels and infrared-reflective materials.
The solar cells on the roof are based on organic chemical dyes. According to BASF, the solar cells can collect enough energy even in low-light situations to power the car’s multimedia components and climate control fans.
Energy-efficient organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) supply interior lighting using half as much power as conventional energy-saving lamps.
The all-plastic wheels, a first designed for mass production use, provide weight savings of up to 7 pounds compared to aluminum wheels. Other light-weight components include carbon fiber re-inforced epoxy resin doors which BASF claims are half the weight of steel doors and 30% lighter than aluminum. The material also allows for the eye-catching 3D creasing effect on the Forvision’s doors.
A non-metal infrared-reflective film applied to the windshield and windows help keep the car interior cool. Unlike metallic films used in some other vehicles, the BASF material only reflects infrared light and does not interfere with radio frequencies used for Bluetooth devices, GPS navigation systems and mobile phones.