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Increased Use of Lightweight Auto Aluminum Helps Consumers Spend Less at the Pump

The following comment regarding the recent Consumer Federation of America poll that finds consumers favor stricter fuel economy standards if it helps ease their pain at the pump can be attributed to Randall Scheps, Chair of the Aluminum Association’s Aluminum Transportation Group:

“A recent poll by the Consumer Federation of America shows consumer concern over rising gas prices and support for higher vehicle fuel economy standards has hit a record level. To help improve vehicle efficiency, automakers are accelerating their move toward an option available today – automotive aluminum. Downweighting with aluminum is proven to reduce a vehicle’s weight to boost fuel economy and cut emissions, without compromising size and safety. Consumers win when lighter, safer cars and trucks drive further on a gallon of gas while emitting less from the tailpipe, and auto aluminum makes it possible.”

Additional items Mr. Scheps can address in interviews:

  • The aluminum industry is starting to see a significant upward trend in demand for automotive aluminum.
  • In fact, the industry is projecting that automotive aluminum use could more than double in the next decade.
    • In some cases, once stalled U.S. aluminum facilities are now coming back online.
  • As automakers strive to meet tough new fuel economy and emissions standards, aluminum solutions must be part of a holistic approach to include lighter yet stronger materials, smart design, advanced powertrains and cleaner fuels.
  • Leading automakers have stated they will be using aluminum to meet tougher fuel economy standards.
    • For example, Ford said in a report out this week that in 2015 and 2020 their vehicles will be more aluminum-intensive – perhaps more than 50 percent. A huge jump: right now, about 8-9 percent of a vehicles curb weight comes from aluminum and 57 percent from steel.
  • When aluminum structures are matched with advanced powertrains, the consumer benefits are increased with even greater efficiencies and reduced costs.
  • As more hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles come online, greater aluminum use can help lower EVs overall costs to consumers since lighter vehicles will need fewer of the heavy, expensive batteries.
  • Aluminum lets automakers reduce weight for better fuel economy and reduced emissions, without compromising size and safety.
  • Studies show aluminum can help pay for itself in terms of efficiencies gained.

For more information and research on the safety and environmental advantages of engineering with auto aluminum, visit

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About the Aluminum Association
Through its Aluminum Transportation Group (ATG), the Aluminum Association communicates the benefits of aluminum in ground transportation applications to help accelerate its penetration through research programs and related outreach activities. The ATG’s mission is to serve member companies and act as a central resource for the automotive and commercial vehicle industries on aluminum issues. Members of the ATG include: Alcoa Inc., Novelis Inc., Rio Tinto Alcan, Aluminum Precision Products Inc., Hydro, Kaiser Aluminum Corporation and Sapa Group

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