750-lb weight reduction targeted by Dow-Ford initiative

04/17/2012

By the end of this decade, the Ford Motor Company (Dearborn, MI) and Dow Automotive Systems (Midland, MI) plan to have developed low-cost carbon fiber and component-level manufacturing processes for high-volume vehicles that will enable a reduction in overall vehicle weight of up to 750 lb on future Ford vehicles, thus meeting fuel economy and electric vehicle range targets.

"There are two ways to reduce energy use in vehicles: improving the conversion efficiency of fuels to motion and reducing the amount of work that powertrains need to do," says Paul Mascarenas, Ford chief technical officer and vice president, Research and Innovation. "Ford is tackling the conversion problem primarily through downsizing engines with EcoBoost and electrification while mass reduction and improved aerodynamics are keys to reducing the workload." Ford is investigating a range of new materials, enhanced design processes and new manufacturing techniques that would enable automotive structures to meet increasingly stringent safety and quality standards while cutting weight....
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