EU rules prevent aluminium lightweighting - EAA
The amount of aluminium used per car produced in Europe almost tripled between 1990 and 2012, increasing from 50kg to 140kg.
The result was published in a report published this week by Ducker Worldwide in cooperation with the European Aluminium Association (EAA). It states this amount could grow by another 40kg by 2020 if light-weighting is encouraged.
The EAA said the immense potential of light-weighting offered by aluminium is held back by EU Regulations.
“The 140kg of aluminium per car produced today is way below what could be achieved” said Bernard Gilmont, Building & Transport Director at the EAA.
“One reason for this is the EU Regulation on CO2 emissions for light-duty vehicle that benefits other CO2 reducing measures before lightweighting. As long as this provision continues, lightweighting of cars will not deliver its full potential.”
The current mass-based calculation method present within the Regulation allows heavier vehicles to emit more CO2, despite the fact that making vehicles lighter is one of the most straightforward solutions to reduce their energy consumption.
The EAA estimates that a maximised use of aluminium could cut total vehicle weight by a third and car bodies alone by 40%, drastically reducing subsequent CO2 emissions.
For example, the average aluminium content (140kg) in the 17 million cars produced in 2012 will result in annual fuel savings of 65 litres per car, avoiding roughly 43Mt of CO2 emissions over the lifespan of the vehicles.
“The current system clearly discriminates against light-weighting compared to other CO2 reduction measures,” Mr Gilmont emphasised.
“The European Aluminium Association calls for the adoption of a technologically neutral solution which would enable manufacturers to choose to have their emission target calculated based on either the vehicle mass or footprint (track width x wheelbase).”