A recent study by the EDAG Group (Fulda, Germany) commissioned by the Aluminum in Transportation Group of the U.S. Aluminum Association indicates that an all-aluminum body in white (BIW) could deliver potential mass savings in the 35-40% range over a base steel BIW. This, when combined with secondary mass savings and other design changes, could reportedly boost fuel economy by around 18%.
The study built upon research EDAG carried out in 2012 for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) examining mass reduction, safety and cost variables in a mid-size crossover Toyota Venza. The EPA study aimed to reduce vehicle mass by 20% while meeting all NHTSA and IIHS safety standards, and maintaining or improving performance, handling and braking.
The previous study found that using a maximized high-strength steel (HSS) Venza body resulted in a body mass reduction of only 14% over the baseline production vehicle body, and that the study's total vehicle mass reduction target could not be met without the use of aluminum closures and chassis components....