Aluminum Challenges for Light Vehicles and EV’s – technical issues and sustainability
2nd talk of the special seminar series on "Current Topics of Advanced Aluminum Alloys"
The first portion of the seminar will briefly trace the history of aluminum auto body sheet in the production of high-volume aluminum-intensive vehicles (AIV’s). More recently, collaboration between suppliers and customers has been crucial in making the replacement of steel sheet possible in the largest-selling light vehicle in North America, the Ford F150, which launched in 2014. How will those lessons learned be applied as electric vehicles (EV’s) go into larger production? Currently EV’s make up only about 2-3% of the automotive market and are markedly different in design and construction from traditional autos. The additional weight that the battery brings to the vehicle, ~ 1 ton, also will influence materials choices. Tesla is in the process of challenging long-held assumptions for vehicle construction with their next generation Model III. Their approach breaks with the conventional wisdom that high-volume vehicles must be stamped from sheet, joined, and assembled.