Study: All-Aluminum Bodies for 18 Percent of Vehicles by 2025
Ford has been a leader and innovator ever since the company was first incorporated 111 years ago, and its efforts to make the 2015 model year version of their world-beating F-150 pickup the lightest, smartest, and most versatile ever (as well as the collective praise they have received) seems to have gotten the attention of the competition. A report from consulting and research firm Ducker Worldwide suggests that 18 percent of all vehicles manufactured in North America-including 70 percent of all pickup trucks—will have all-aluminum bodies by the year 2025. If this comes to pass, drivers can expect better mileage and fewer emissions, and we’ll all have Ford to thank for blazing that particular path.
The Detroit News notes that vehicles sold in 2013 contained an average of 350 pounds of aluminum, and that the number is expected to rise to 400 pounds by 2015 and 550 pounds by 2025. Aluminum-alloy is one of the primary causes for the 2015 F-150’s 800-lb. weight lost, which will significantly improve fuel economy without compromising reliability. It’s estimated that vehicles gain 1-2 percent fuel efficiency for every 100 lbs. of weight lost.
The Wall Street Journal cites a study by John Murphy, Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst, who says that sales of the 2015 F-150 will determine whether other automakers set themselves on the path toward all-aluminum bodies. Of course, this seems like unnecessary conjecture on Murphy’s part; it’s an F-150, so of course they’re going to sell. That’s all they’ve been doing for nearly 40 years.
The movement toward all-aluminum bodies would eventually lead to vehicles that better meet emissions standards and save drivers a premium on fuel costs, which is pretty much the definition of a win-win situation.