Australia’s Carbon Revolution plans expansion in US
One of Australia’s manufacturing success stories – which literally reinvented the wheel – is now looking to the US to secure funding for further expansion.
After more than a decade of creating and manufacturing carbon-fibre wheels in a Geelong factory for supercars from Ferrari, Chevrolet, and Ford, start-up Carbon Revolution is now looking to the US for its next chapter.
Carbon Revolution – which is credited with being the first company to mass-produce lightweight wheels from carbon-fibre – announced its intention to list on the NASDAQ stock exchange in the US back in November 2022, as the business looks for the financial backing that will allow it to expand operations in line with demand.
Carbon Revolution’s CEO Jake Dingle recently revealed the company has been awarded a contract to supply lightweight wheels on the Range Rover Sport SV, as well as for an as-yet-unnamed electric vehicle.
The carbon-fibre wheels provide up to 45 kilograms in weight savings, as well as benefits in aerodynamics and noise. All of which are important factors for electric vehicles.
“Our wheels are a classic trickle-down technology: they started at a very premium performance level and they’re now making their way into less premium applications,” Mr Dingle said in an interview with IPO Edge in April.
“We’ve continued to automate and industrialise our manufacturing processes, driving efficiency and ensuring that we bring our costs down as we grow and demand increases.”
Mr Dingle started the business in 2007 with Dr Ashley Denmead, the company’s Engineering and Design Director, who started out making carbon-fibre wheels for Deakin University’s Formula SAE racing-car team.
“Ford was first, then Ferrari with the 488 Pista. And then the Renault Megane RS hot hatch, and then the GM program that was announced last year with the Chevrolet Corvette,” Mr Dingle told Drive in September 2022, when it was announced its wheels would feature on the upcoming Ford Mustang Dark Horse.
Mr Dingle says the company has developed proprietary manufacturing techniques that will be able to be set up in “more strategic locations”, giving North America as an example to supply larger contracts to US car-makers.
While Carbon Revolution recently manufactured its 70,000th wheel, the company is hoping to increase production from approximately 13,000 wheels made annually, to approximately 90,000, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald.
“When you walk through our factory today, you see large numbers of big robots doing things that previously were done in a very manual way,” Mr Dingle told the SMH.
“Unlike vehicle manufacturing, where there are a lot of plants around the world, this is the first one making carbon fibre wheels at scale.”
Carbon Revolution is hoping to lure in US investors with its unique business model, merging with Twin Ridge Acquisition Corporation in the coming months in a deal that will allow the it to list on the NASDAQ stock exchange.
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