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More Aluminum Vehicles Due from Ford

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On: Mon, Apr 14, 2014 at 2:07PM | By: Karen Cook

More Aluminum Vehicles Due from Ford

With the recent regulations that require auto manufacturers to reduce CO2 emissions from their vehicles by four percent annually, it’s no surprise that many companies are looking for more creative ways to boost fuel efficiency. At the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, Ford revealed the new F-150 which was made with aluminum instead of steel. Using the lighter metal reduces the weight of the vehicle by 700 pounds compared to the same model the year before.

Ford is now considering using the same materials for the Explorer and Expedition. Larger vehicles like the truck and SUV are hard on fuel economy. They are large and heavy which makes it necessary to use more gas to move them. Cutting the weight with aluminum goes a long way to improve fuel consumption and help to bring down the amount of damage done to the environment by driving them.

The main problem with using aluminum instead of steel is that aluminum is more expensive. Trucks and SUVs already have a higher base price which makes it easier to cover the cost of aluminum while the savings in fuel costs make it even more attractive to buyers. Other changes to the Expedition and Explorer include plans to make it more aerodynamic which, combined with the lighter weight, will further impact the fuel economy. Americans show no signs of reducing truck and SUV purchases which puts auto makers in the position of having to create ways to meet customer demand and government regulation simultaneously.

Ford has been working on aluminum vehicles since 1900 but the F-150 is its first mass produced product using the material. The company has plans to up its production of aluminum vehicles by 2018.


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