Aluminum is part of the solution to improve the sustainability of the transport industry. That was the key message given by Randall Scheps, Alcoa’s director of Ground Transportation, to attendees at the Weststart-CALSTART Clean Heavy Duty Vehicle Conference held recently in
“Weight reduction can play a key role in enabling the transportation industry and members of its supply chain to meet their sustainability objectives. Aluminum is one of the most viable light-weighting options available to Original Equipment Manufacturers in all areas of transport for weight reduction applications,” Scheps said.
He cited a world aluminum industry report which stated the application of aluminum in vehicles manufactured in 2006 will lead to potential savings of approximately 140 million tons of CO2 equivalent emissions and to energy savings equivalent to 60 billion liters of crude oil over the lifecycle of these vehicles.
Alcoa Leading the Way
Scheps said that Alcoa is a leader in innovation of aluminum to reduce weight applications in all areas of transit. He described Alcoa’s partnership with
“We anticipate a 1,500-kilogram (approximately 3,300-pound) weight reduction with the use of an aluminum space frame, wheels and aluminum body panels on the bus, resulting in 50 to 80 tons of emissions saved per bus over its lifetime,” he said.
Scheps also said that heavy-duty trucks could potentially be 4,000 to 4,500 pounds lighter by increasing aluminum usage in various applications.
“Aluminum plays a critical role in making vehicles safer, cleaner, and more fuel efficient, but it also provides cost savings for OEMS because of increased payload, reduced maintenance, and longer service life, because aluminum is less corrosive than steel and is fully recyclable,” said Scheps.
Aluminum’s Cradle-to-Cradle Sustainability
Scheps also pointed out the sustainability aspects of aluminum and the metal’s significant benefits in both the use stage and in the recycling stage of a vehicle.
“Aluminum is greener than ever. It can be recycled endlessly with no degradation. Fifty billion used beverage cans are recycled into auto and truck parts in the
Alcoa is the world leader in the production and management of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina combined, through its active and growing participation in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa's businesses to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components including flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, Alcoa also markets Alcoa wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building systems. The company has 97,000 employees in 34 countries.