Aluminum is a big part of the greener future of cars and trucks, offering lighter weight, more strength, less corrosion and improved fuel economy.Peter GorrieToronto Star
ARLINGTON, VA (March 15, 2017) — The Aluminum Association looks forward to working with President Trump and his administration on the review of light-duty vehicle fuel economy and emissions regulations for model years 2022-2025. Aluminum is the second-most used material in vehicles today and a key technology for automakers looking to continue to improve vehicle fuel economy safely and affordably.
“Our members continue to see strong growth in the use of aluminum in cars and trucks as our customers increasingly see mass reduction as the best strategy to build the fleet of the future,” said Heidi Brock, president and CEO of the Aluminum Association. “Lighter, stronger vehicles create value for the customer in addition to savings at the pump, including improved performance and increased safety.”
For more than 40 years, the use of aluminum in automobiles has grown continuously and is expected to continue strong growth in coming years. Vital to the nation’s domestic manufacturing base, aluminum companies have invested or committed $2.8 billion in U.S. plant expansions since 2013, driving investments that help create American jobs and strengthen the U.S. economy.
We believe the review process should:
- Embrace a Data-Driven Approach: Decision-making must be fact-based and driven by credible data.
- Spur Competition and Innovation: A regulatory environment that accelerates the use of advanced technologies, like aluminum and other high-strength, low-weight materials is a victory for consumers.
- Support Mass Reduction Without Downsizing: Vehicle size is proven to be a more important safety determinant than weight. Any revised rule should maintain the current call for mass reduction given benefits to consumers and the nation.
This month, Ford unveiled the aluminum-bodied 2018 Expedition in advance of the Chicago Auto Show. The full-size SUV shaved 300 pounds over the previous year’s model with the help of lightweight, high strength aluminum alloys. The vehicle is expected in showrooms this fall.
A recent article in Repairer Driven News details the many “seemingly steel vehicles” on the road with aluminum panels. Notably, Jason Bartanen I-CAR industry technical relations director emphasizes that “aluminum has been used for hoods and other closure panels for many, many years”
The 2017 aluminum-bodied Ford F-250 Super Duty received the best possible score of five stars overall for safety by NHTSA. A similar 2016 steel-bodied F-250 only scored four stars overall.
A light-hearted article by Warren Brown describes how his 5-feet tall, 110 pound daughter handled the aluminum-bodied Super Duty with ease. “It’s really light, much lighter than I thought,” she said.
Magna International, working with the U.S. Department of Energy and FCA, developed an ultra-lightweight door using aluminum. Magna hopes to have these doors available for use in production vehicles by 2020.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty the best possible crash test rating of five stars. The Super Duty uses the same high-strength, military-grade aluminum alloy in its body construction as the F-150, which also earned a 5-Star NHTSA safety rating.
Ford unveiled the redesigned 2018 F-150 during the Detroit auto show. The best-selling truck will continue to use an all-aluminum body, and update its styling with a redesigned grille, headlights, tailgate and bumpers.