(Yicai Global) May 8 -- Beijing Automotive Group Co., better known as BAIC, has placed China’s first ever mass production order for carbon fiber auto parts from Kangde Composites Co., a Hebei-based manufacturer.
One of Kangde’s shareholders, Kangde Investment Group Co., ran several research and development projects for lightweight car parts in partnership with BAIC. The mass order is a result of one of these collaborations.
Auto makers are turning to the lightweight material to cut back on energy consumption and opening up the market to carbon fiber manufacturers. Cutting a vehicle’s mass by 100 kilograms can reduce fuel consumption per 100 kilometers by 0.3 to 0.6 liters, Research suggests China needs 16,200 tons of carbon fiber per year, said Zhong Yu, chairman of Kangdexin Composite Material Group, a Chinese chemical engineering firm that founded Kangde. Domestic companies can only produce about 3,200 tons, with imports making up the remainder.
By 2025, the country will need about 100,000 tons a year, Zhong believes. His firm has plans to invest CNY80 billion (USD11.6 billion) over the next four years to push its carbon fiber output from 5,000 tons to about 60,000.