Fuel Economy and Other Benefits of Vehicle Weight Reduction with Aluminum
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Fuel Economy and Other Benefits of Vehicle Weight Reduction with Aluminum
Car companies and government regulators favor vehicle weight reduction strategies that preserve and enhance safety performance, comfort and convenience. Cost effective, aluminum based vehicle weight reductions have been achieved with no compromise in safety performance, comfort or utility. The impact of weight reduction on vehicle fuel economy has been extensively evaluated. Most researchers have converged on a similar assessment. For a typical North American passenger vehicle, a 10% weight reduction results in a 6.5% MPG improvement at constant performance, while taking into account engine downsizing. Maximum fuel economy benefit of weight reduction is achieved when the engine is resized to maintain performance levels of the original vehicle. If the engine is not resized, fuel economy will increase at a lower rate and performance will increase in proportion to the weight reduction. Aluminum based vehicle weight reduction varies depending on the extent of the weight reduction effort applied. Using today’s average vehicle as a baseline, the range of aluminum based weight reduction expected by 2025 ranges from 15% for multi-material vehicles (MMV) to 25% for aluminum intensive vehicles (AIV.)