U.S. Department of Energy Pushing for Stronger, Lighter Car Materials - BodyShop Business

U.S. Department of Energy Pushing for Stronger, Lighter Car Materials

Advanced high-strength steel, magnesium, aluminum and carbon fiber being eyed for improved fuel economy.

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced projects for the development of stronger and lighter materials for American-made vehicles. The projects include the development of modeling tools, as well as research into lightweight, high-strength alloys for energy-efficient engines.

“With strong, lightweight materials, we have an opportunity to dramatically increase vehicle fuel economy while helping America maintain its competitive edge in automotive design and manufacturing,” said Chu.

The Obama Administration believes replacing cast iron and traditional steel components with lightweight materials – including advanced high-strength steel, magnesium, aluminum and carbon fiber composites – will allow vehicle manufacturers to include additional safety devices, integrated electronic systems and emissions control equipment on vehicles without increasing the weight of the vehicle.

The U.S. Department of Energy noted that reducing a vehicle’s weight by just 10 percent can improve the fuel economy by 6 to 8 percent.

You May Also Like

Women in Auto Care Achieves Record-Breaking Scholarship Distribution

Approximately 81 awards totaling $425,000 were distributed to female students across the U.S. interested in pursuing careers in the automotive aftermarket.

The Auto Care Association announced that Women in Auto Care has distributed a record total of 81 awards, combining cash scholarships and toolkits, with an unprecedented value of $425,000. These awards serve as a powerful investment in the aspirations of female students across the U.S., nurturing their interest in pursuing careers within the automotive aftermarket. In addition to financial support, Women in Auto Care will provide scholarship winners with an Industry Swag Box — a curated collection of items introducing them to the organization and showcasing key companies in the automotive aftermarket. This aims to familiarize recipients with the industry and cultivate community belonging. Furthermore, Women in Auto Care has introduced monthly virtual Connection Circles for scholarship winners, allowing them to connect with peers and receive mentorship from experienced female technicians and instructors, aimed at fostering ongoing support, professional growth and networking opportunities for their career success. The outstanding success of this year's scholarship program is a testament to the unwavering support and generosity of Women in Auto Care's community sponsors and member contributions. Their dedication to fostering diversity and opportunity within the industry has made a significant impact on the lives and futures of aspiring professionals. Over the past year, Women in Auto Care has strengthened partnerships and significantly expanded its scholarship program. Collaborating with Garage Gurus, Women in Auto Care awarded five $7,000 scholarships totaling $35,000 and partnered with Dorman to grant a $10,000 scholarship. Additionally, through partnerships with NAPA and Acuity, toolkits valued at $8,700 and $3,000 were respectively distributed. These collaborations reflect Women in Auto Care's commitment to championing diversity, excellence and innovation within the auto care industry. By investing in the education and advancement of female talent, the organization continues to drive positive change and inspire future leaders in the industry. “At NAPA, we are proud to be able to offer tools and equipment to individuals who are passionate about the automotive industry," said John Molidor, director, Tools & Equipment for NAPA. "Our goal is to make it easier for techs to enter the automotive repair space by providing necessary tools for the job. We are proud to be working close with Women in Auto Care, and this is just one way we can collaborate to make a difference."

Brian Cruickshank Elected as CAWA’s 2025 Secretary to Board of Directors

Cruickshank is a partner at Schwartz Advisors, an aftermarket-focused M&A advisory firm.

People on the Move

Recent personnel news that has appeared on bodyshopbusiness.com.

Matt Daigle Joins SEMA’s Public and Government Affairs Team

Daigle is a seasoned communicator with more than 20 years of experience and leadership in advocacy and member communications.

Consolidator Report

Consolidation news from the week of July 15.

Other Posts
Top 5 Stories of the Week

A recap of the top five stories on bodyshopbusiness.com during the week of July 15.

PPG Recognized as Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion

This is the third consecutive year PPG has earned this recognition from the Disability Quality Index.

NABC Donates Recycled Rides to Denver-Area Military Families

The NABC, GEICO, Allstate and Crash Champions recently donated refurbished vehicles to two military families in the Colorado State Capitol.

Tesla Model Y Secures Position as World’s Best-Selling Car in 2023

Sales of the Tesla Model Y totaled 1.22 million units globally, up by 64% from 2022.