First the first time ever a motor vehicle manufacturer is using a nearly all Aluminum metal body in one of its pickup trucks, why you ask?
In 2010 President Obama introduced new tough fuel-efficiency standards for vehicles, which meant that they needed to start reducing gasoline consumption per mile traveled. This is exactly what ford managed to do, by switching from Aluminum to steel Ford shaved 700pounds off the weight of the vehicle which is roughly 15%. So what effect did this have on petrol consumption? Reducing the weight so dramatically has reduced combined urban and highway consumption to 17 miles per gallon which is more than 25%.
This lighter body also opens up the doors to more potential fuel savings. As the vehicle is lighter it no longer requires the same heavy hitting 3.5L V6 engine so by replacing this with a more economical motor will further increase this vehicles potential to save fuel which is important as efficiency regulations are incrementally ramped up past 2020. Further more if other technologies such as auto stop/start and hybrid engines are installed this can be further maximized.
With the F150 being fords most profitable vehicle worldwide this is also somewhat of a gamble for Ford to be making, given that aluminum has somewhat of a reputation for being weak- after all it is the basis of kitchen foil, right? Wrong! When aluminum is combined with small amounts of other metals to form and alloy it is actually just as strong as steel. So in an industry already struggling this could put Ford in a strategically beneficial position or isolate ignorant consumers.
As a world leader, Shanghai Metal Corporation (SMC) offers Aluminum in various type and size with offices and subsidiaries located throughout Asia, Europe, Australia, and the Americas. More information on aluminum can be found on our website here. Be sure to join the conversation in our LinkedIn group, Facebook, Twitter & Tumblr. You can also scan the QR code below with your smart device to connect with us on these platforms.
Dominick F.//SMC Editor
Adapted from: The Wall Street Journal, M. Ramsey July 26 2013