Beginning in 2011, automobile makers had to meet a set of government regulations that had sat in limbo for many years. For many, this was the biggest change in fuel-economy standards since the 1970s Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) law, otherwise known as cafe standards.
With an increase in fuel economy by nearly 40% for cars, and by almost 25% trucks, automobile manufacturers really have their work cut out for them.
According to an article on Car and Driver, the MPG increase is palpable, and might seem like a struggle for major manufacturers.
The average fuel economy for cars must improve from the current 27.5 mpg, where it has been since 1990, to 37.8 mpg by 2016. The truck standard has to rise from 23.5 mpg to 28.8.
So while the standards might not be as severe as they maintain by simply looking at the raw data (manufacturers have come up with a few clever ways of circumventing strict guidelines; not to mention “surplus credits”), they are seeking out alternatives to achieve the “goal” set by the US Federal Government, which doesn’t always mean drastic changes in design.
As the relative dimension, or footprint needs altered, car manufacturers often garner help from things that increase efficiency without direct alteration of typical features. They do this by redesigning aspects of the car which make it lighter, paying careful attention to small details where new components and materials offer a replacement. It’s at this point in the process where hydroforming steps in.
The hydroforming process lends to aiding CAFE standards in almost all parts of their design. By providing lightweight parts, that are durable and strong, manufactured quickly and easily, car manufacturers have a veritable goldmine in hydroforming companies.
What’s more, for 2016, it doesn’t matter which manufacturer requires assistance, because the regulations are different across the board.
Thus, for truck manufacturers and car manufacturers alike (whether SUV, sport, sedan, luxury, and so on), hydroforming is a viable option to reducing weight thereby increasing average MPG, and saving car manufacturers’ bottom line.
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