Browse Publications Technical Papers 2013-01-0656
2013-04-08

Cost-Effectiveness of a Lightweight Design for 2017-2020: An Assessment of a Midsize Crossover Utility Vehicle 2013-01-0656

In response to more stringent greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards and increasing consumer demand for fuel efficient vehicles, automobile manufacturers have identified vehicle mass reduction as a leading strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving fuel economy. The potential for significant levels of mass reduction can only be understood using a full-vehicle analysis, partly because mass reduction in one vehicle system or part can enable additional reductions elsewhere. This paper describes a holistic approach in which the most cost-effective mass reduction ideas were selected using a structured optimization procedure, and the crash safety of the resultant design was evaluated using a full-vehicle engineering analysis.
The results of this study indicate that when mass reduction strategies are considered using a full-vehicle approach, significant mass reduction can be achieved with overall cost savings while maintaining safety and without requiring the adoption of unproven technologies. For a 2010 midsize crossover utility vehicle (CUV), a 312kg mass reduction (18.3 percent of 1711kg) was found to result in direct manufacturing cost savings of $148 per vehicle, or $0.47 per kilogram. When the increased tooling costs of $23M are included, the net savings are $0.43 per kilogram. CAE model comparison and analyses were performed on the baseline and mass reduced models to demonstrate that crash worthiness would not be degraded.

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