CHICAGO An all-aluminum
vehicle could help trim weight by 40 percent while boosting
fuel economy by 18 percent, according to a study commissioned
by the Aluminum Association.
In some cases, the switch to
aluminum could be done at a "modest" cost increase of about $1
per kilogram (about 45 cents per pound) of weight saved,
according to the study conducted by EDAG Group.
"Automakers are putting cars and
trucks on a major diet to get better gas mileage and are saying
theyre reaching the limits of using advanced steels to
lose weight," Randall Scheps, chairman of the
associations transportation group and director of
automotive marketing at Pittsburgh-based aluminum producer
Alcoa Inc., said in a statement April 16. "This study
reinforces that aluminum is the material of choice to reduce
body mass and boost fuel economy."
The Aluminum Association
contends that automakers are increasingly using aluminum
instead of steel and that aluminum-intensive vehicles will
become more common thanks to demand for more fuel-efficient
cars and trucks. The association also says that aluminum use in
the automotive sector, already at an all-time high, should
double by 2025 over 2008 levels.
Aluminum-intensive vehicles on
the road today include Audi AGs A6, Tesla Motors
Inc.s electric Model S and Jaguar Land Rover Plcs
Range Rover, the first all-aluminum sport utility vehicle,
according to the Aluminum Association, which expects more such
vehicles to be in showrooms in the next few years.