Lightweight garage #35 Safety and lightweight construction @ DLR Safe Light Regional Vehicle

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Lightweight garage, News

The vehicle

The vehicle shown today is the SLRV developed by DLR, which is short for Safe Light Regional Vehicle. That in itself says it all: the aims are safety, lightness and to design an electrically powered vehicle for the city. A fuel cell with a range of 400 km was chosen for the drive, which is more than sufficient for urban transportation. The vehicle is designed as a two-seater and impresses with its large open field of vision. With a body weight of just 90 kg, the 3.5 m long vehicle is an absolute lightweight. What's more, with an estimated purchase price of 15,000 euros in 2020, it is not in a completely utopian price range.

The technology

What makes the vehicle so light is the body made of sandwich composite panels, which were developed at DLR especially for the project. These are metal-foam composites with a top layer of steel or aluminum. In other words, the top layers are a few tenths of a millimeter thick and bonded with thin foam mats. The overall structure is usually only a few millimeters high and can be easily shaped. Complex curved geometries such as fenders or bumpers can therefore be formed despite the sandwich structure.

The lightweight aspect

This structure allows weight to be saved, but the crash properties and energy absorption of expandable metal sheets can be adopted, which represents a clear further development compared to known CFRP bodies for safe road use.

Furthermore, the drive train can also be reduced due to the low dead weight, which means that an 8.5 kW fuel cell with battery booster can be used for short periods of 25 kW and supply the vehicle with sufficient energy. A purely electric drive with a heavy battery would not be able to achieve such a long range with the same efficiency, as the battery is permanently carried along.