Ford announced during the 2008 SAE World Congress in Detroit that it's investing a bunch of money in researching nanotechnology for developing paints, plastics, light metals and catalysts that will allow reduced vehicle weight and improved fuel economy. The idea is to use nanoparticles dispersed in existing materials to improve properties of those materials.

Examples of this technology are potential new alloys that could make engines lighter, or a thermally sprayed nano-coating that could replace the heavier cast iron liners that provide the necessary wear resistance of cylinder bores in aluminum block engines. Then there's improved surface coating for the vehicle's sheetmetal and nanotechnology in lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells.

[Source: Ford]

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