Survey: Automotive Industry Speaks Out on Fuel
The auto industry’s current materials portfolio will need to be augmented to meet new 2025 fuel economy standards, according to a recent WardsAuto and DuPont Automotive survey.
Only 5% of the more than 1,000 vehicle designers and engineers polled said they are “very confident” that currently available materials will help them meet proposed CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) standards. Nearly half the respondents say the greatest change in materials will be in power train systems, noting that advanced propulsion systems – from downsized engines to hybrid and electric vehicle systems and batteries – will drive new material requirements.
Subscribers to WardsAuto responded to the survey designed to identify challenges and trade-offs associated with meeting 2025 CAFE standards. Results of the survey, commissioned by DuPont and performed by Iowa-based Paramount Research, were released during this week’s Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminar in Traverse City, Mich. (U.S.)
“Clearly CAFE regulations have confronted the industry, but they’ve also driven focus around technology needs, material demands and cost issues,” said David Glasscock, DuPont global automotive technology director. “While the CAFE standard is a little lower than proposed, it’s significantly higher than where we are today. Advanced materials, alternative propulsion systems and new technologies must be developed quickly and cost effectively.
“This is a defining moment – not just for materials, but for the industry,” David said. “And it’s one that breaks the silos of the value chain and is inclusive of the global marketplace.”
Respondents identified the need for higher strength, lighter metals; more cost-effective, advanced composites for structural components that can significantly reduce weight and high-heat resistant, lightweight materials to withstand higher combustion pressures and temperatures.