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Body shops face huge costs to gear up and train for aluminum vehicle repairs

Mainstream auto manufactures have used aluminum in the construction of vehicles for a number of years. However, most of the panels on cars and truck were traditionally made from stamped steel, while in some cases hoods and trunk lids were made from aluminum.
With Ford rolling out the all-new F-150 that uses a body made 95 percent from aluminum, the future looks expensive for body shops charged with fixing vehicles after an accident. Reports indicate the costs of tools and training at body shops could soar.

The Aud A8 has been primarily constucted of aluminum for nearly two decades
That would lead to labor rates at the shops rising as well, leading to more costly repairs. Ford is blazing the trial into mainstream vehicles made mostly of aluminum, but other manufactures will follow. Making broader use of aluminum to reduce the weight of vehicle is one of the big ways that automakers plan to meet CAFE standards handed down by the White House.
Some body shops will have to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in new training and equipment to be able to repair the aluminum used in Ford trucks. Smaller body shops might not be able to justify the cost, which could be a big benefit to dealer-owned body shops.
“Not every shop in America will be equipped to repair the new F-150,” said Dan Risley, president of the Automotive Service Association. “It’s cost prohibitive because there aren’t a lot of vehicles on the road with aluminum, so the return on investment could take a few years. When you throw aluminum into the mix, everything changes.”

The 2015 Ford F-150 will be the first mainstream vehicle to make wide use of aluminum throughout its body structure
He says that less than 20 percent of body shops will be equipped to fix aluminum body structures. Shops certified to fix high-end European brands like Porsche, Jaguar, and Audi cars that are used to working with aluminum will be the best ready to deal with the influx of new aluminum vehicles needing repairs.
Ford is not the only company that will employ extensive use of aluminum in full-size pickup trucks. General Motors announced last month that its next generation Silverado and Sierra will use the lightweight material.

Source: Detroitnews

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RE: No free lunch
By Keeir on 3/24/2014 3:13:10 PM , Rating: 3
Or maybe he lives where the power is from a hydroelectric dam?

Or how about this uncomforable current method....

In the process of refining gasoline, approx. 5 kWh of Natural Gas is used as a heat source per gallon in your car (Argonne Natural Lab.). The same 5 kWh of Natural Gas can deliever upto 2 kWh into the battery of a Tesla (EIA for Nat Gas power plant efficieny, grid efficiney, and Tesla for charging efficiney). 2kWh allows a car like a Tesla Model S to travel 6-10 miles.

In 25 MPG car like a BMW 5/7 Series to go 100 miles requires

134 kWh of Gas + 30 kWh of Gas to disbute from Refinery + 20 kWh of Natural Gas to Refine + "X" amount of energy to get the Oil/NG to the refinery

Total: 184 kWh of "Fossil Fuels" + X amount of additional energy

In a Telsa Model S to go 100 miles requires

20 kWh of electricity + 5 kWh of electricity to charge + 2 kWh of electricity to dist. + "X" amount of energy to get Coal/NG/Nuclear/ETC to power plant.

27 kWh of electricity can be made from EITHER
~82 kWh of Coal
~50 kWh of NG
~67 kWh of Fuel Oil #2 (requires 10 kWh of NG to Refine)

No matter how you slice it, the Tesla Model S consumes Fossil Fuels at rates between 1/2 to 1/3 of the traditional gasoline models, even when 100% power by coal.

Essentially a Model S powered by Coal is equal to a Prius powered by gasoline (In use). Which would you rather drive?

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive

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