The Multi Material Lightweight Vehicle (MMLV) developed by Magna International and Ford Motor Company is a result of a US Department of Energy project DE-EE0005574. The project demonstrates the lightweighting potential of a five passenger sedan, while maintaining vehicle performance and occupant safety. Prototype vehicles were manufactured and limited full vehicle testing was conducted. The Mach-I vehicle design, comprised of commercially available materials and production processes, achieved a 364kg (23.5%) full vehicle mass reduction, enabling the application of a 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine resulting in a significant environmental benefit and fuel reduction.
The Regulation requirements such as the 2020 CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standard, growing public demand, and increased fuel prices are pushing auto manufacturers worldwide to increase fuel economy through incorporation of lightweight materials in newly-designed vehicle structures. This paper is aimed at communicating the results of a life cycle assessment (LCA) study which compares the lightweight auto parts of the new multi material lightweight (MMLV) Mach-I (1.0l I3) vehicle design to the conventional auto parts of the baseline 2013 Ford Fusion (1.6l I4), both internal combustion engine vehicles (gasoline fueled), built and driven for 250,000 km in North America .
The new Mach-I design has achieved an overall 364 kg (23%) mass reduction enabling engine downsizing, which resulted in a total life cycle mass-induced fuel savings of 3,642 liters (or 962 gallons) and a projected combined cycle fuel economy of 34 mpg (6.9 l/100 km), as compared to 28 mpg (8.4 l/100 km) for the 2013 Ford Fusion. The Mach-I design vehicle includes materials and technologies which are commercially available. This LCA study assesses the potential environmental impacts of the auto parts throughout their cradle-to-grave life cycle, with a focus on weight differences between design options. Primary interested parties are the US Department of Energy (DOE), Province of Ontario, Ford Motor Company and Magna International. LCA of the auto parts is conducted in accordance with International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards 14040/44 and follows the specific rules and guidance provided in the CSA Group 2014 LCA Guidance document for auto parts [2,3,4].