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NEWS
Study On Automotive Materials Released
April 20, 2010

A new international sustainability study on automotive materials was released recently at the Society of Automotive Engineers’ (SAE) 2010 World Congress in Detroit. The study highlights aluminum’s and magnesium’s superior lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions reduction and energy savings benefits. Initiated to explore the potential for increased use of magnesium in automobiles, the Magnesium Front End Research Development (MFERD) project conducted a full life-cycle assessment study on the impact of steel, magnesium and aluminium front end parts in a Cadillac CTS and concluded aluminium was the environmental winner.

The study, a collaborative effort between organizations in Canada, China and the United States, found that when analyzing the full lifecycle of the metals, magnesium delivers 15 percent energy savings compared to a steel design and aluminium yields 20 percent energy savings. When looking at the total life cycle CO2 emissions, magnesium is 12 percent better than steel and aluminium is 20 percent better. The aluminium design achieved the best lifetime performance for overall energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

The Aluminum Association also provided a technical keynote address on another study at SAE. This study addressed the benefits of weight reduction through lightweight materials on electric vehicle performance, range and battery size. Through this study, the role of vehicle, battery and powertrain mass as well as drive cycle on range and performance was examined.


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