GM invests in lightweight, strong NanoSteel

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General Motors

General Motors has invested in a firm that makes a new light-weight, strong steel alloy. Image: Jeremy Burgin/Flickr/CC BY

General Motors Co. is investing in NanoSteel, a new type of high-strength, light-weight steel alloy that could improve the miles per gallon of its future car and truck models.

NanoSteel, an investment in the future

General Motors, one of the world’s leading automakers and one of the U.S. “Big Three,” is looking to the future as it seeks to meet the federally mandated U.S. Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards that will demand increasingly strict fuel economy standards from automakers in multiple future deadlines.

Stronger and lighter than steel

On Monday, August 8, the automaker issued a statement that its investment arm, General Motors Ventures LLC, has bought stock in the NanoSteel Co., which is the developer and maker of a revolutionary new kind of steel alloy. According to NanoSteel, its new alloy is stronger and lighter than conventional steel. GM did not disclose the size of its investment in the firm.

General Motors Ventures

General Motors Ventures is an investment arm of General Motors that was launched in 2010 with an initial investment of $100 million. It seeks out and buys stakes in promising new automotive technologies. It has so far invested in solar-powered EV charging stations, among other promising new industry developments.

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Jon Lauckner, GM’s chief technology officer, said:

“We are investing in NanoSteel because of the opportunity associated with their new steel alloy technology. Over the next several years, light-weighting of vehicles will be a major focus area to improve fuel economy. NanoSteel’s nano-structured alloys offer unique material characteristics that are not available today, making them a potential game-changer.”

About NanoSteel Co.

The NanoSteel Company is a Providence, R.I. -based firm that was established in 2001. It has developed an alloy that is stronger than conventional steel. That allows it to be used at much thinner gauges than conventional steel, thereby reducing the weight of structures built using it without compromising any integrity required for safety. And it can be made cheaper than aluminum and other materials being considered by automakers to lower weight.

Dave Paratore, president and CEO of NanoSteel, said:

“General Motors Ventures investment in NanoSteel demonstrates its confidence in our company’s potential to achieve widespread impact on the auto industry through our proprietary steel designs. With the support of General Motors’ automotive expertise and technology leadership, we can accelerate the final phases of development of our nano-structured AHSS in the quest to economically lightweight vehicles.”


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