Meeting CAFE Standards Through Lightweighting
Over the last few years, CAFE standards in vehicles have continued to be hotly deliberated.
Though opinions on the subject will always vary, indicate that US fuel economy standards have already demonstrated big savings on fuel and emissions.
Big Savings with Lightweighting
In their forty-year history, fuel economy standards in the United States have brought about effective changes:
- helped to reduce U.S. reliance on producers of foreign oil
- saved an overall $5 trillion in fuel costs
- prevented a potential 14 billion metric tons of carbon from being released into the atmosphere
By requiring automakers to produce increasingly more effective automobiles, CAFE standards have certainly brought effective change to the world.
How It’s Done
One of the ways automakers have succeeded in making vehicles run more efficiently has been to decrease their overall weight.
This has been largely accomplished through a process known as lightweighting.
Classical physics tells us that with a decreased vehicle mass, less energy is needed to accelerate it, resulting in less Greenhouse Gases (GHG) emitted (and increased miles per gallon, or MPG, of the vehicle). Experts estimate that for every 220-pound decrease in weight of a vehicle, there will be an associated 3-5% decrease in carbon emissions, depending on total vehicle size and powertrain type. (Union of Concerned Scientists)
Though lightweighting can be accomplished via several methods, one of the more common is through the process of hydroforming.
Hydroformed parts aren’t just lighter, however. As an added bonus, they also produce stronger and more rigid bodies than ones formed from non-hydroformed parts.
We Can Help
Here at American Hydroformers, we provide metal fabricating solutions for the Midwest and beyond. Using the most advanced hydroforming processes currently available, our technicians are here to help you succeed.
To hear more about our premium services, please contact us at any time. We’d love to hear more about your project and learn how we can help you meet your production goals.