Automakers Eye Weight Reductions to Meet Fuel Economy Goals
October 25, 2012 9:45 AM
comment(s) - last by
Hydroforming and new welding methods help reduce vehicle weight
New CAFE standards
have automakers reaching for any technology they can find to help improve fuel economy. Many manufacturers are going to electric vehicles or hybrids to increase their overall fleet mileage averages. The problem with focusing only on hybrids and electric vehicles, however, is that most consumers aren't in the market for that type of vehicle.
On traditional gasoline-powered vehicles, automakers are increasingly turning to weight savings as a way to help improve fuel economy. The lighter a vehicle can be made, the less weight the engine has to push or pull around and the less fuel it uses because engines could be made smaller without sacrificing performance.
Some automakers are even turning to removing some features of cars such as CD players and the spare tire to reduce weight according to the
. Both General Motors and Ford are turning to new processes in vehicle assembly to help remove weight from the body of mainstream vehicles.
2013 Ford Fusion
Many automakers are using aluminum rather than steel to help reduce the weight of their vehicles. Hoods, trunks, and lift gates as well as door skins are commonly made from aluminum today. Ford is also
experimenting with carbon fiber
on the Focus.
Switching to lighter materials isn't the only way automakers are going about reducing the weight of the vehicles they produce. They're also reducing weight by changing the manufacturing processes used. Ford, for instance, is using hydroforming on the steel structural pillars of its
One of the big benefits of hydroforming is that it allows the forming of complicated and larger parts that don't need to be welded together. Traditional stamping produces multiple parts that have to be welded at joints. Those joints are points of weakness and add weight. Using hydroforming, rather than other forms of stamping, sheds 18 pounds from each car by eliminating the additional welds.
GM is also doing its part testing a thermal-forming process for lightweight magnesium that weighs 75% less than steel. GM also plans to use a patented welding technology to allow the company to integrate more aluminum into automotive bodies by saving the company from using rivets to join aluminum body panels. The use of the welding process rather than rivets will cut nearly 2 pounds from parts such as hoods, lift gates, and doors.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
10/25/2012 12:35:43 PM
That's bs about the tires. Yes, it's true according to simplified physics but in the real world, tires are not an ideal material at all. They behave non-linearly and changes to friction characteristics happen when they heat up while braking.
"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer
Ford Uses Carbon Fiber Hood to Reduce Vehicle Weight, Increase Fuel Efficiency
October 9, 2012, 3:37 PM
2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid EPA Certified at 47 MPG (City/Highway)
September 18, 2012, 8:10 AM
Obama Responds to Romney's CAFE Criticism
August 30, 2012, 5:30 PM
Tesla Loses Out in New Jersey's Vote for Direct Auto Sales Ban
March 12, 2014, 12:44 PM
Bids Sought to Build New Presidential Limo
March 12, 2014, 10:21 AM
Audi Traffic Light Recognition System Hopes to Save Fuel
March 11, 2014, 9:54 AM
Group Likens Itself to Holocaust Denier, Blasts "Al Gore-Controlled" Apple
March 10, 2014, 7:25 PM
Tesla Adding More Superchargers, Stores, Service Centers Throughout Europe in 2014
March 6, 2014, 4:00 PM
EPA to Cut Two-Thirds of Sulfur in Gasoline Starting in 2017
March 4, 2014, 5:40 PM
Most Popular Articles
Bitcoin King Pt. II: Mt. Gox's Dictator Karpelès Proves Tragically Flawed
March 7, 2014, 1:12 PM
Windows 8.1 Update 1 Leaked Early
March 7, 2014, 9:30 AM
Apple Won't Let UK Sons Unlock Their Deceased Mother's iPad
March 6, 2014, 12:44 PM
Hack Reveals Fallen Bitcoin CEO's Posh Tokyo Penthouse
March 10, 2014, 4:28 PM
Lt. Gen. Davis Says Next Gen USAF Bomber Will "Of Course" Surpass $550M/Unit
March 6, 2014, 9:45 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
Global Cyber Espionage Concerns Reveal Growing Cyber Armies
Nov 29, 2013, 11:04 AM
Is The Period Becoming an Expression of Anger?
Nov 26, 2013, 2:02 PM
NSA and Congress -- You Will Never Kill the Constitution, It's an Idea
Nov 10, 2013, 2:00 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information