The recent growth in using composites for semi-trucks and buses is due to their numerous advantages over conventional materials. Utilizing an alternative, like carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP), makes large trucks lighter and stronger than ever. CFRP is a carbon fiber-based plastic that has recently been tested for implementation in semi-trucks by companies like Tesla. This is a revolutionary and exciting development in the transportation industry, demonstrating the power of CFRP and composites like it, while also illustrating why MVP has been shepherding the use of these products and processes for over half a century.

Having already made waves in industries as diverse as space exploration and consumer cars, Tesla has recently expanded their vision to semi-trucks. As a class-8 and entirely electric vehicle, these trucks are impressive for more than one reason. At a recent unveiling event, Tesla announced a pair of truck prototypes with both tall-boy and low-roof designs.[1] These trucks can drive up to 500 miles on one charge all while pulling a gross weight of 80,000 lbs. This towing weight as well as the ability to accelerate from 0 to 60 in 20 seconds, a good 40 seconds faster than standard diesel models, is in no small part a result of the use of CFRP in its construction. These resilient but lightweight carbon fiber materials, when paired with aluminum, make for a stable and incredibly efficient vehicle.

It’s no secret that composites have advantages over standard materials. By reducing the truck’s weight, more cargo can be carried while using comparatively less fuel.[2] For refrigerated trucks, composites weigh less than a conventional dry van while boasting 25% more thermal efficiency. In trucks of all kinds, CFRP eliminates the risk for corrosion, reducing maintenance and replacement costs. Furthermore, Tesla’s carbon fiber cab is designed with aerodynamics in mind. Over time, that can make a massive difference in fuel economy. In fact, Tesla claims that their CFRP trucks will cut through the air better than many sports cars.[3] This is consistent with the CFRP produced at Magnum Venus Products (MVP), which boosted the efficiency of U.S. manufacturing in a collaboration with fellow industry leaders in a group called the Closed Mold Alliance.[4] Their focus is on increasing the recyclability, lightweight nature, and strength of CFRP and materials like it. Tesla’s announcement and the formation of the Closed Mold Alliance together mark CFRP as a material that is worth investment and further innovation, to see what this budding technology is really capable of.

Ultimately, CFRP offers numerous advantages for trucks when compared to other viable materials. When it comes to efficiency, maintenance, and temperature regulation, there’s no comparison. MVP solutions draws on their roots as a family-owned business to offer composite-based solutions in trucks and more, for any application. For decades, MVP has devoted itself to lead the market in both quality and innovation. As Tesla enters the game, MVP has staked its ground as an expert innovator and it ranks among the largest FRP equipment manufacturers in the world. They supply small shops, large automated and advanced operations, and potentially even newer companies like Tesla. MVP’s role as an industry leader will no doubt continue to push this technology forward, helping Tesla and hundreds more looking for CFRP solutions.

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