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Efficiency

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Aluminum Is Unmatched at Conserving Fuel and Battery Power

When high-strength, low weight advanced aluminum alloys replace steel, vehicles can keep their size (or even be made slightly larger), while cutting their weight to save fuel and reduce emissions. That’s because the less a car or truck weighs, the less fuel is needed to move it.

As more hybrids and fully electric vehicles hit the roads, the need for heavy, expensive battery power can be reduced in an aluminum intensive vehicle since less weight requires less battery power. And, when aluminum is used to reduce the weight of commercial vehicles, freight haulers either save on fuel costs or are able to carry more payload efficiently– or both.

Aluminum Efficiency Advantages:

  • A 5 to 7 percent fuel savings can be realized for every 10 percent weight reduction when traditional steel is replaced with aluminum in vehicles.
  • Aluminum structured hybrids achieve 13.5 percent better fuel economy than steel-bodied hybrids. Similarly, aluminum-bodied diesels can achieve 13.1 percent improvement in fuel economy.
  • No vehicle technology strategy can cost-effectively achieve a 50+ MPG fuel economy target without significant weight reduction (this can be done with materials substitution to avoid less desirable downsizing of vehicles).
  • Aluminum benefits electric vehicles by offering a more efficient, lower weight solution to combat heavier battery weight, potentially yielding up to a $3,000 savings per vehicle.
  • Using aluminum in electric vehicles can increase the vehicle’s driving range by roughly the same proportion as it reduces weight—for example, reducing the weight by 20 percent will allow the vehicle to travel 20 percent farther.

 

Aluminum is efficient… plus a whole lot more.

While looking to create a luxury segment competitive 2013 Cadillac ATS, GM searched for ways to enhance the vehicle’s performance. According to an article in Motor Trend, the automaker turned to aluminum, using the metal in the hood, engine, braking system and sub-frame.

Vehicles made lighter with aluminum combined with high structural stiffness accelerate more quickly, provide better stability and response, and require shorter stopping distances than heavier vehicles.

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