Ford Motor Company has announced a new partnership with Dow Chemical Company that is set to explore cost-effective ways of replacing certain parts in future vehicles with carbonfibre components. 

Lighter materials are key to all manufacturers' plans to meet ever more stringent fuel economy and emissions regulations in the world's major car markets. In Ford's case, the company says it is aiming to cut an average of between 250 pounds and 750 pounds from the range of cars and light trucks that it will be selling in North America and elsewhere by the end of this decade.

"Reducing weight will benefit the efficiency of every Ford vehicle," said Paul Mascarenas, Ford's chief technical officer. "However, it's particularly critical to improving the range of plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles."

According to a report carried by Reuters, preliminary US data shows that the average fuel economy for cars and trucks made for that country's 2011 model year was 22.8 miles per gallon. Ford's fuel economy was 21.3 miles per gallon, according to the data from the Environmental Protection Agency. The Obama administration has mandated average fuel efficiency of 54.5 miles per gallon for cars and light trucks by the 2025 model year.