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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.
With little in the way of new product, Smart is set to debut yet another concept, this time at the Frankfurt Auto Show. Taking design inspiration from the Smart Forspeed concept that was first shown at the Geneva Auto Show, the Forvision concept is a look at just how efficient the rest of the car can be made in order to get the most out of an electric drivetrain. As a result, the Daimler sub-brand has created a concept that focuses on reducing vehicle weight, while also better managing the effects environmental temperatures have on the cabin.
In terms of reducing weight, the car uses light weight carbon fiber body components as well as the first use of an all-plastic wheel that is, “suitable for high-volume production.” Developed by BASF, Smart claims it weights almost 7 lbs less than a conventional aluminum wheel, while initial durability tests have proven it is up to the task for production use.
In terms of temperature management, the Forvision uses a solar panel roof that can power the car’s HVAC and multimedia controls. Keeping heat outside the car is heat-reflective paint, while inside custom light weight seats use a fleece fabric instead of a venting and heating functions as a natural solution to temperature management. In addition, a heat-reflecting film has been used on the windows, while special heat-reflecting paint has been used on the interior materials to ensure they don’t absorb the sun’s rays.