Browse Publications Technical Papers 2018-37-0027
2018-05-30

Lightweight Automobiles ALLIANCE Project: First Results of Environmental and Economic Assessment from a Life-Cycle Perspective 2018-37-0027

In the last years the research activities in the field of lightweighting have been advancing rapidly. The introduction of innovative materials and manufacturing technologies has allowed significant weight reduction. Despite this, novel technologies and materials have not reached a wide distribution. The reasons for this are mainly high production costs and environmental impacts of manufacturing that do not compensate benefits during operation.
The paper deals with the AffordabLe LIghtweight Automobiles AlliaNCE (ALLIANCE) project which has the goal of developing novel advanced automotive materials and production technologies, aiming at an average 25% weight reduction over 100 k units/year, at costs of <3 €/kg. The article is focussed on Work Package 1 (WP1) of the project, aimed at estimating the full attributes of innovative design solutions by assessing costs, energy demand and GWP over the entire vehicle Life Cycle (LC). After an overview on project consortium and structure, the paper reviews the design strategies considered as well as the expected targets. Finally, the preliminary results of WP1 regarding the environmental and economic assessment are presented. Outcomes suggest that to reach the target in terms of GWP and cost reduction by means of innovative lightweight materials it is fundamental to bear in mind the potential trade-off between production and uses stages impacts/costs especially in the electric vehicle configuration. Moreover, the vehicle lifetime and the potential secondary effects would play a relevant role in the evaluation of lightweight benefits.

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