Aluminum is geared from the git-go to go green in auto applications

Oct 01, 2009 | 09:01 AM |

The sustainability of our environment and the energy we use to support society are dominant concerns across the globe. Rising concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and shrinking availability of petroleum from secure sources have led to focused efforts on policy and technology solutions.

Against this larger backdrop, the global automotive fleet of roughly 700 million cars represents a significant source of CO2. By some estimates, 14 percent of global CO2 emissions are from transportation—with cars making up the lion's share. As such, reducing vehicle fuel consumption and related tailpipe emissions are vital to combating climate change and lessening our reliance on foreign oil.

Enter aluminum.

The aluminum content in cars and light trucks reached an all-time high of 8.6 percent of average vehicle curb weight in 2009, continuing almost 40 years of uninterrupted growth in North America. The main driver behind aluminum's success is the environmental advantages the high-strength, low-weight, infinitely recyclable metal provides. As a result, it is no surprise that in a recent study by Ducker Worldwide LLC, Troy, Mich., auto industry experts ranked aluminum use as a top option and "very significant" in meeting the federally mandated fuel economy improvements of 40 percent by 2020.....

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