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
RE: Still Waiting
10/25/2012 1:26:46 PM
Diesels haven’t caught on in the US? Ever hear of a Cummins equipped Dodge Ram? If I could get a quality diesel engine in a car I would. Volkswagen and Audi make great Diesel engines if you can afford to fix them monthly. Cummins diesel engines in light duty truck start to break in around 100k Miles to bad they don’t make a model suitable for sedans.
RE: Still Waiting
10/25/2012 1:38:19 PM
Cummins diesel engines in light duty truck
"Light" trucks get their own emissions category in the US. It's actually quite hilarious what the EPA considers a "light truck." Would you ever guess that the Chrysler PT Cruiser is one? Or how about all those crossovers that look like tall station wagons? Every minivan and SUV in existence too. In fact, the only things that still qualify as "cars" to the EPA are sedans, small hatchbacks, and sports cars.
"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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
California Gives Tesla Motors $34.7 Million Tax Break to Boost Vehicle Production
December 19, 2013, 11:00 AM
Energy Department: Gas-Powered Vehicles to Dominate Market through 2040
December 19, 2013, 8:30 AM
NHTSA Expected to Announce Vehicle-to-Vehicle, Advanced Braking Plans by End of Year
December 18, 2013, 11:11 AM
Porsche Macan V6 Diesel Bound for the U.S.
December 17, 2013, 10:36 AM
GM Could Release New EV, Updated Chevrolet Volt in 2016
December 16, 2013, 11:30 AM
Ford Says 70% of its Cars Will Have Start-Stop Tech by 2017
December 16, 2013, 10:57 AM
Most Popular Articles
China's Lunar Rover Enters Orbit, Prepares for Historic Sat. Landing
December 13, 2013, 5:00 PM
Ten Senators Sponsor Bill to Scrap Corn Ethanol Market Manipulation
December 13, 2013, 1:52 PM
China's Moon Rover Lands Safe and Sound, Starts Snapping Pics
December 16, 2013, 1:22 PM
Metro-Enabled Firefox Browser Expected to Land After Two Years of Work
December 12, 2013, 5:21 PM
Top Microsoft Graphics Genius Defects to Google
December 17, 2013, 4:27 PM
Latest Blog Posts
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
AT&T Explores $100B+ USD Deal to Acquire Vodafone's European Operations
Nov 4, 2013, 7:34 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2013 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information