DOE and USCAR Launch $70 Million Project for Lightweight Vehicles
May 26, 2005
DOE announced on May 26th a $70-million, five-year agreement with the U.S. Council for Automotive Research (USCAR)—a cooperative research organization formed by DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors Corporation—to develop lightweight, high-strength materials that will reduce the weight of vehicles without compromising safety. As one example, improved manufacturing and the use of advanced high-strength steel can reduce vehicle weight by 15 to 25 percent. DOE estimates that every 10 percent reduction in vehicle weight cuts fuel consumption by about 7 percent.
DOE's FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies Program and USCAR's U.S. Automotive Materials Partnership will split the cost of research and development for a number of new materials, including advanced high-strength steel; lightweight metals such as aluminum, magnesium, titanium; and new materials such as carbon fiber and polymer matrix composites. None of the DOE funds will go to the automakers; instead, the funds will be directed to government labs, universities, and suppliers to help develop the nation's technology base. See the DOE press release.