Steel Body Weights for EVs on Par with Aluminum, Report Says

by | Sep 15, 2011

The FutureSteelVehicle program, conducted by engineering firm EDAG International and supported by the worldwide steel industry, has announced significant mass reductions in steel vehicle bodies as a means of lowering emissions.

The program says it has demonstrated that steel body structure weights for battery and fuel cell vehicles are on par with aluminum designs, and offer a 70 percent reduction in life cycle emissions over similarly sized vehicles using internal combustion engines. The research found significant mass savings in four proposed vehicles for 2015 to 2020: a compact battery electric vehicle; plug-in hybrid or PHEV; mid-size-class PHEV; and mid-size fuel cell electric vehicle.

The resulting design was accomplished at no cost premium, according to WorldAutoSteel. FSV’s battery electric body structure can be manufactured for $1,115.

FutureSteelVehicle is a three-year program to develop fully engineered, steel-intensive designs for electrified vehicles that reduce greenhouse gas emissions over their entire life cycle.

Vehicle production including materials manufacturing accounts for about a quarter of the life cycle emissions in today’s vehicles, according to a June study, Preparing for a Life Cycle CO2 Measure (pdf), conducted by global engineering firm Ricardo for the United Kingdom’s Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership. The same study estimates that embedded emissions will grow to 57 percent of total life cycle emissions, in large part due to the introduction of battery powered vehicles.

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