Feb 09/21

Incorporating Vehicle Weight Reduction to Increase Energy Efficiency

vehicle weight


As design engineers work on automotive models of the future, one serious consideration is the vehicle weight and how it impacts the energy efficiency of the vehicle.

It’s their role to create vehicles that meet the stringent energy standards in place by states and the federal government. At the same time, they need to design vehicles that offer the comfort, luxury, and efficiency expected from consumers.

That’s no small task.

The trick lies in finding materials that both weigh less and check all the boxes for consumers. Creating vehicles that offer more energy efficiency is the goal.

How do manufacturers meet that challenge and why should they try? What’s the benefit for them? Read on to learn more.

Lighter Materials and the Impact on Mass Production

There are two avenues to consider when thinking about vehicle weights and their impact on energy efficiency.

The first is for the manufacturer themselves. Manufacturers need to use some of the same energy sources to run their plants and build vehicles. It makes sense that lighter vehicles are going to save them too.

The lighter weights save on energy while the car or truck moves through the line in production. Those same fossil fuels used in the cars can be saved at the manufacturing level too.

Auto manufacturers need to work with suppliers who understand the need for engineering, design, tooling, and manufacturing using lighter-weight materials. Auto manufacturers can’t make this change alone. They need their supply chain to be on board with understanding how weight is impacting their vehicles.

It also makes sense that the suppliers working with lighter weight materials to build those vehicles will benefit from the energy efficiency too.

Reducing Vehicle Weight and How It Impacts the Average Driver

Automobile engineers and designers learned long ago to study the materials and weight of every piece that makes a car fit together. They quickly figured out that when they reduce the weight of the vehicle, even by a small percentage, they also increase the vehicle’s energy-efficiency.

Again, as standards for fuel-efficiency and fewer emissions have become more strict, this has been a necessary change in the design process.

So, how have they approached this task?

The iron and steel of cars from several decades ago went on a diet, so to speak. They are looking to make vehicles now with higher-strength, but lower weight, steel, and aluminum. They are also looking at places on the inside of the vehicles where they can now use plastics and strong polymers. This saves weight to make the vehicle more efficient.

Vehicle Weight and Its Impact on Energy Efficiency

The science is clear that vehicle weight directly impacts the energy efficiency for both the manufacturer and the vehicle itself.

At Mayco International, we pride ourselves as a Tier 1 supplier, on working with our manufacturers to develop and build the parts they need to build the best vehicles possible.

Contact us today to discuss how we can help you build parts that will make your vehicles more energy efficient.