Lightweighting: The powertrain for the future
Hybrid vehicles that save weight and CO2
Lightweighting using steel makes vehicles future-viable: they not only reduce weight and fuel consumption, they also save the environment a whole lot of harmful emissions. This is also shown by the results of the "Lightweight Forging Initiative", in which Georgsmarienhütte GmbH played its part.
Light, but nonetheless ultra-safe, ultra-strong and ultra-durable – the powertrain for the car of the future will not be possible without high-strength steel - and not only because of the many and diverse advantages of this tried and proven material. Also because of its 100% recyclability and its great lightweighting potential for the automotive industry.
Thirty-nine companies working in steel production and forging, from Europe, Japan and the USA, have now, in unparalleled cooperation, researched into further potentials for weight reduction in a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV). The results speak for themselves: a lightweight hybrid vehicle could save a total of 93 kg on its chassis/suspension, gearbox and electronics alone.
A lightweighting example - hybrid electric vehicles (HEV):
- Development of 733 lightweight ideas
- Savings totalling 93 kg
- Weight reductions on the chassis/suspension, powertrain, gearbox and electronic components
- A lighter vehicle saves, overall, both energy and CO2
Easy successes - and some tough nuts to crack
The eighty experts have analysed in minute detail more than 4,000 vehicle parts – and not only efficient solutions for hybrid electric cars, but also technological ideas for mobility based on conventional trucks were developed. In this process, these specialists in materials-based and conventional lightweight construction, in production, in conceptual lightweighting and in the sphere of hybrid propulsion arrived at over 100 ideas which can be classified as easily implementable.
Although no small amount of effort is still needed to crack the several hundred "tough nuts" remaining in the field of lightweighting of hybrid vehicles, the suggestions do, nonetheless, illustrate the groundbreaking potentials to be found along the complete supply chain, whether in steel production, forging or component manufacturing.