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Carmakers Steering Away From Steel in Order to Meet Fuel Economy Standards

usnews.com -- Faced with increasingly stringent benchmarks—the government's new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards require a passenger vehicle fleet that averages 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025—carmakers are taking another approach to achieving better fuel mileage: shaving weight off vehicles by experimenting with lighter materials.

Automobiles have long been made from steel—a very strong, but heavy material. Now manufacturers are experimenting with new materials—ranging from aluminum to carbon fiber composites to metal alloys—to help companies reach the ambitious fuel efficiency standards.

"They don't have to make these changes immediately, but there's much more a sense of urgency now," says Bruce Belzowski, research scientist at University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute.


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Submitted Jan 16, 2013 By: comprof
Category: Daily News Article Discussions > Topics Add to favorite topics  
Author Topic: Carmakers Steering Away From Steel in Order to Meet Fuel Economy Standards Back to Topics
REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
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tomok
Champion Author Portland

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Message Posted: Jan 18, 2013 8:53:20 AM

Carmakers Steering Away From Steel in Order to Meet Fuel Economy Standards. Vehicles can be made lighter for higher fuel efficiency AND be very strong too. Aluminium, exotic metals and alloys, titanium, carbon fiber, strong plastic composites are a few materials to make car bodies and parts from. Very strong driver and passenger cages and numerous air bags placed on all sides of the inside occupant areas, design vehicles to absorb front/rear/side impacts. Defensive driving and vehicle sensors, cameras, radars and gps connected to a computer to help get from one place to another. All changes and improvements to the vehicle will be at a higher cost than todays current vehicles.
There will be much higher repair costs when accidents occur too.
Whatever the size or shape of the vehicle, vehicle manufactures Produce and the population ‘Drives’ vehicles with high MPG, are very safe, reliable, have a ‘reasonable’ cost and a good ‘value’ for the money.
The price of fuel at the pump is too high!
XII/XXII/MMXII! - The Day After......
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HawaiianGuy
Champion Author Idaho

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Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 7:09:10 AM

All you environmentalists, you knew it would sooner or later come to this, and even worse. 54.4 mpg? Totally unrealistic.
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remay
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 6:48:50 AM

maybe they should include wings if they are going to be so light to help on those windy roads
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jcdakota
Champion Author Baltimore

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Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 3:51:26 AM

When do we get to the Jetson's vehicle that folds into a briefcase - no parking problems!!!
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SkooterG
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 3:19:40 AM

These technologies have been developing and in use for quite a long time. CAFE standards have nothing to do with it.
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CiVX
Champion Author Oakland

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Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 12:38:51 AM

steel is better some ways.
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rjhenn
Champion Author Des Moines

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Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 12:19:43 AM

Saturn was great, at first. Then GM ignored them for ten years, then turned them into just another GM division, no different from every other GM division.
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ExplorerWA
Champion Author Washington

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Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 12:17:30 AM

Fuel economy at the sake of safety.
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N5EXY
Champion Author Austin

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Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 12:08:17 AM

Saturn? Out of this world. I want a safety cage. If I wanted to be an organ donor I would still do motorcycles.
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danreino
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 12:07:30 AM

Too bad Reardon Metal doesn't exist....oh wait, it does; but King Barraqh wants you in a FLIMSY aluminum can...not Audi quality here folks. Will make the Smart Cars seem as safe as a Brinks truck.
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libertyut
Champion Author Utah

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Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 12:06:52 AM

I think it can be done before 2025. We have been experimenting with new materials for a long time. Saturn did it. Oh there no longer around.
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ManOfLeisureII
Champion Author Philadelphia

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Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 12:03:37 AM

Government mandate for higher mileage = less safe and desirable vehicles. And we won't have much choice about it.
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cheaper0ON
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 12:03:30 AM

Safety is the first priority.
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troutbum7
Champion Author Nevada

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Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 12:02:48 AM

Wheeled caskets, what will they think of next?
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unclenorman
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 12:01:40 AM

ok
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CCLighthouse
Champion Author Hartford

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Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 12:00:53 AM

Can you say death traps.
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CIWS
Champion Author London

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Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 12:00:26 AM

definite pros and cons,safety being paramount
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boatcatawba
Veteran Author Cleveland

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 11:59:10 PM

safety first.
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Jeeputtputt
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 11:56:41 PM

try pedals
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bvrbill
Champion Author Eugene

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 11:55:00 PM

Lighter may not be safer.
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nwsynthetics
Champion Author Oregon

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 11:52:28 PM

I say use wax paper and balasa wood
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mstearno
Champion Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 11:50:24 PM

cardboard sounds exciting
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snagged
Veteran Author Akron

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 11:45:06 PM

Use cardbroad.
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gasguzler4667
Sophomore Author Ottawa

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 11:45:02 PM

Lower cost to build,(plastic).
Cost to the public? Not as safe and no cost savings on the tag price.
Perfect for the auto industry.
Not so good for the public.
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GigHarborHound
Champion Author Tacoma

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 11:40:34 PM

Let's drive around in an air bag!!!
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Math6149
Champion Author Jacksonville

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 11:39:57 PM

That's not new.
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charg3rguy1991
Champion Author Greensboro

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 11:31:42 PM

not a good idea cars need to be strong and safe
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DCbeachbum
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 11:31:38 PM

Safety needs to be the number one priority, not the MPG that someone (and we all know who) thinks is a good idea.
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us4usa
Champion Author Missouri

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 11:31:14 PM

Will the new cars come with helmets???
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Titan_62
Champion Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 11:29:59 PM

Thanks for posting
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MotoDad
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 11:22:58 PM

ok
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Marson
Champion Author Scranton

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 11:18:30 PM

Lighter cars use less gas and kill and injure more people.
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BREW9
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 11:18:15 PM

not good
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FlogNut
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 11:14:34 PM

Because of the idiotic CAFE standards automakers will once again trade safety for fuel economy. People will die because of these new fuel standards!
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DrLyon
Champion Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 11:14:14 PM

Remember safety...
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atdinut
Champion Author California

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 11:12:31 PM

Lighter vehicles means you will be able to "toss" them around more!
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TxMtb
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 11:09:10 PM

And the safety will suffer, but no one will care about that.
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BigBlue5
Champion Author Spokane

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 11:06:48 PM

Plastic and aluminum, are you kidding? What about safety you morons.
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drz614
Champion Author Harrisburg

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 11:00:37 PM

ore will go into pipe instead.
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neptune2008
Champion Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 10:59:10 PM

there goes that industry...ha
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John_T1
Champion Author Toronto

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 10:59:03 PM

Safety must be given high priority, even if it costs that little bit more to do some extra R&D. I'm sure people will pay a little extra knowing they'll be safe in the event of an accident, and the decreased weight will mean better fuel economy so they'll be saving money on gas to offset the higher initial cost of the vehicle.
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Dragnet
Champion Author Arizona

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 10:57:53 PM

Sure, plastic doesn't protect anything and we will see more deaths as people get even crazier on the roads
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Mr_Bill_W
All-Star Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 10:56:19 PM

Okay...
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Beaveronparade
Champion Author Hartford

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 10:54:36 PM

I always feel better in a car that's heavier & made of steel. Its safer is there's an accident.I know it is a sacrifice as far as gas mileage is concerned.
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Moparmizer
Sophomore Author Iowa

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 10:54:22 PM

pesky laws of physics
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leemun
Champion Author Utah

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 10:52:53 PM

People will die. Do Environazis care?
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30mpg80
Champion Author Lexington

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 10:52:53 PM

Good idea to steer away from steel any time you see a chunk in the road.
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MRHONEST
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 10:51:36 PM

UNBELIEVABLE!
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ILoveGoldens
All-Star Author Kentucky

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 10:50:10 PM

kzrooster - good point!
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PDQBlues
Champion Author San Diego

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 10:50:02 PM


Many of the composites being used in car manufacturing are not only lighter but many are even stronger than steel.
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Buffalo Joe
Champion Author Alberta

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 10:49:06 PM

More plastic just like Tonka toys.
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