ENLIGHT comprises an integral set of RTD and innovation activities that advance highly innovative technologies on weight, affordability and life cycle impact minimization. The aim is to advance both the materials as well as their application in future EVs, enabling both medium term application in premium / niche vehicles (to be introduced to the market around 2020) as well as longer term application in high volume / highly affordable EV (for introduction around 2025).

As such ENLIGHT has been defined so as to be completely complementary with respect to the ALIVE project. ALIVE focuses on material technologies that might be closer to real industrial uptake for lightweight applications in a timeframe up to 2020 (including ultra-high strength alloys, aluminium and magnesium) while ENLIGHT looks further into the future by addressing those materials that offer even higher potential for lightweight vehicle design and lower CO2 footprint, but require a longer R&D trajectory in order to adequately take all the necessary factors into account (life cycle impact, high production volumes, affordability, performance) in order to ensure true sustainability. Such materials, to be addressed directly by ENLIGHT, are thermoplastics, fibre reinforced plastics, advanced hybrid materials, (renewable) bio-polymers.

Primarily ENLIGHT targets an ultra-compact four-seated passenger car, which can be scaled up to light duty vehicles (concept of modularity & scalability). A virtual design of the complete vehicle will allow coordinating the interface between the different modules as well as calculating overall weight reduction obtained.

In ENLIGHT each of the principal major weight-incorporating parts of a vehicle will be addressed directly: the body-in-white (demonstrated with a front module and central floor module), hang-on parts (demonstrated with a front door), the chassis (demonstrated with a sub-frame and suspension system) and heavier interior components (demonstrated in an integrated cockpit & firewall assembly). By focusing the activities on determining and verifying directly the greatest weight saving potential for each of these modules from the perspective of true sustainability, the realization of a complete demonstrator vehicle is remains outside the scope of this project.

Key deliverables of the project include:
  • Development of highly innovative lightweight / low embedded CO2 materials for their application in medium-volume automotive production
  • Design capabilities for affordable medium-volume lightweight EVs
  • Manufacturing and joining capabilities for affordable medium-volume lightweight EVs
  • Experimental and simulation validation environments to enable rapid & reliable multi-parameter optimization loops when designing with these new materials
  • LCA and economic analysis to ensure the highest probability of application by 2020, taking into account all salient factors
  • Integration of results and coordination of activities with other FP7 and Green Car projects
  • Demonstration of the proposed solutions through the realization of at least 5 full scale demonstrator modules, covering different distinguishing features of purpose-designed EVs: Front module, Firewall, Central floor section, Sub-frame & suspension, and Doors / enclosures.