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outlook Doug Richman


54.5 MPG by 2025? Aluminum Helps Lead Way


T


echnology consumer preferences evolve and en- vironmental concerns grow. Looming, even more heavily over the industry, are demands to meet the


US Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, which by 2025 will have nearly doubled since 2012. Unless the targets are amended, automakers will be required to achieve a fl eet-wide average of 54.5 mpg (23 km/L) with corresponding reductions in CO2 emissions by 2025. Currently, the Environmental Protection Agency, National Highway Traffi c Safety Administration and the California Air Resources Board are conducting a midterm evaluation of the provisional 2022–25 standards to determine if those tar- gets should remain the same or be adjusted. According to the regulators: “[they] will examine a wide range of factors, such as developments in powertrain technology, vehicle electrifi cation, light-weighting and vehicle safety impacts, the penetration of fuel effi cient technologies in the market- place, consumer acceptance of fuel effi cient technologies, trends in fuel prices and the vehicle fl eet, employment impacts, and many others.”


Technical Committee Chairman Aluminum Transportation Group Aluminum Association


When it comes to manufacturing, technology, design and materials, there is no silver bullet to help automakers hit the 2025 targets. It’s not as simple as pursuing one option over another. Rather it requires an “all of the above” approach. However, reducing vehicle weight—without reducing vehicle


We have entered a multi-material world where no single material dominates the automobile.


size—will be vital to complement all other technologies un- der consideration, including advanced gasoline powertrains and electrifi cation. In fact, a recent survey conducted by WardsAuto and DuPont Automotive confi rms that engi- neers and designers consider increased aluminum use as the single strongest material option for helping the industry reach the 2025 standards.


So, what is the aluminum industry doing to support auto- motive customers’ needs for today and tomorrow? First, aluminum is delivering. Ford Motor


Aluminum-bodied Ford F-150 broke fresh ground in lightweighting for mass production.


Co.’s aluminum-bodied F-150 is safer with in- creased payload and towing capacity, higher fuel economy and lower emissions than the steel-bodied model it replaced. F-150 proved aluminum’s ability to lead in every category when it comes to affordable, high-volume ap- plications. Aluminum is also playing a strong and growing role in a range of other vehicles from the Chrysler Pacifi ca and Chevrolet Malibu to the Cadillac CT6, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW i3 to name just a few. Second, aluminum is innovating. Aluminum companies and our automotive customers are pioneering technology pack- ages with advanced alloys, some of which include military-grade alloys now migrating


20 — Motorized Vehicle Manufacturing 2016


Photo courtesy Ford Motor Co.


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