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Carmakers Steering Away From
Steel in Order to Meet
Fuel Economy Standards

U.S. News & World Report, by Meg Handley

Original Article

Posted By:JoElla Bee, 1/16/2013 3:54:45 PM

Faced with increasingly stringent benchmarks—the government´s new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards require a passenger vehicle fleet that averages 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025—carmakers are taking another approach to achieving better fuel mileage: shaving weight off vehicles by experimenting with lighter materials. Automobiles have long been made from steel—a very strong, but heavy material. Now manufacturers are experimenting with new materials—ranging from aluminum to carbon fiber composites to metal alloys—to help companies reach the ambitious fuel efficiency standards.
Headline resplit by staff.

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: Bevan, 1/16/2013 3:57:22 PM     (No. 9120614)

Its for the children, right Bammy?

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Reply 2 - Posted by: 4Justice, 1/16/2013 3:59:02 PM     (No. 9120618)

Just don´t get in an accident...you will end up like a soda can on its way to the recycler´s!

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Reply 3 - Posted by: Grant Hodges, 1/16/2013 4:05:00 PM     (No. 9120623)

carbon fiber sorta explodes when hit hard. So I guess if your car gets hit hard, it may absorb the blow, instead of communicating it to you, but if it was a smaller hit, you probably are going to have a totaled car anyway. I just can´t imagine carbon surviving a hit of much note.

In bicycle world carbon fails from time to time, but chromoly steel (sp)lasts forever. But speed bikers always will take the carbon bike if they can get it....

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Reply 4 - Posted by: veritas, 1/16/2013 4:10:21 PM     (No. 9120633)

Pssst! Go long on Schwinn shares!

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Reply 5 - Posted by: Dante, 1/16/2013 4:15:32 PM     (No. 9120641)

Why cares about safety? There is an imaginary threat and an agenda at stake here.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: Charactercounts, 1/16/2013 4:21:19 PM     (No. 9120648)

That should be great for people driving on interstates with big rigs all around.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: Northcross, 1/16/2013 4:34:55 PM     (No. 9120673)

How did the government ever get the power to set fuel economy standards in the first place? Has that ever been challenged in court?

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Reply 8 - Posted by: FL_Absentee_Voter, 1/16/2013 4:37:56 PM     (No. 9120679)

Steel - strong, cheap.
Aluminum - less strong, expensive.
Carbon fiber and metal alloys - possibly stronger, very expensive.

Either way, the sticker price would go way up.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: LittleHoodedMonk, 1/16/2013 4:38:08 PM     (No. 9120680)

I was recently having this conversation with someone. People were beginning back in the day to be stupid and believe, as we were pitted against the Japanese and their great car mileage and our desire to have the muscle cars. What many forgot was that we had an economy and cost of gas that made driving a pleasure.

But, then began the lies from the Feds about needing to have clean air standards and more miles per gallon. It was all lies, as the recent article showing the extraordinary air pollution in China as they seek to expand their cities. More importantly, we never went after our own fuel [oil, coal, gas] or built new refineries to feed our economy.

Basically, we traded in our metal protection, while still doing the same speed, for cheaper made cars that the Unions, hospitals and undertakers are the benefactor. It doesn´t matter how far you can go per mile, only if you can and are willing to pay for it. We are not natural polluters, but our kids were taught that in school. Therefore, we are doomed as they replace US in positions of commerce and authority.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: Coy860, 1/16/2013 4:42:45 PM     (No. 9120696)

Cafe standards are killing people..
Using Biden´s justification, we should BAN cars if we can save at least ONE life.
Ditto for subways..we can save lives.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: Pearson365, 1/16/2013 4:44:21 PM     (No. 9120699)

US News intentionally misleads with "the government´s new CAFE" standards. These standards were NOT agreed to by our Congressional representatives, but imposed by Obama edict without citizen or consumer input. The avid socialist & Obama environmental czar, Carol Browner, and EPA radical Lisa Jackson, forced these unachievable and dangerous mileage standards on the industry.

If the automobile manufacturers are unable to overturn this regulation through the courts, the limousine liberals will destroy another industry. US companies cannot not build micro cars & trucks for a profit and consumers reject them. Those that are built will come from China & India.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: ktwo, 1/16/2013 4:51:32 PM     (No. 9120719)

The cars will cost more but use less fuel. So the direct cost of owning may not change much.

It will be very costly to repair collision damage. But various proximity devices and self-driving cars will reduce the chance of collisions. Insurance costs will therefore ???

In addition to all the other taxes the States and Washington will impose a transfer tax based on the cars mileage rating. You will have to pay it even for private sales.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: Rubinski, 1/16/2013 4:54:50 PM     (No. 9120720)

Having cars made out of plastic will probably result in about 10 the number of deaths per year than could be expected from gun violence.

This will lead to many deaths...unless you are one of the ones driving around in a steel reinforced limousine.

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Reply 14 - Posted by: Whamdbambam, 1/16/2013 5:01:09 PM     (No. 9120727)

Start with the Presidential limo, the one with the spinners.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: viking diver, 1/16/2013 5:11:11 PM     (No. 9120753)

ever see a "smart" car after it is in an accident with a big truck.... its not pretty. don´t care what the commercial shows about a big truck balancing on the frame, they aren´t showing an impact with a 2 to 3 tonne vehicle. this pipe dream has been going on since Carter, why don´t they just convert the cars and trucks to natural gas, will be more fuel efficient, less exhaust, and it wouldn´t take much infrastructure to get it up and running and would provide lots of jobs

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Reply 16 - Posted by: Salt5792, 1/16/2013 5:13:07 PM     (No. 9120759)

Cars will be built of tinfoil and cardboard in order to meet the new CAFE standards.

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Reply 17 - Posted by: judy, 1/16/2013 5:21:14 PM     (No. 9120777)

They´re already 99% plastic...

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Reply 18 - Posted by: NorthernDog, 1/16/2013 5:27:13 PM     (No. 9120793)

In the meantime Obama flies around in a gas-guzzling 747 jet and uses a 5-ton car while on the ground (surrounded by gun-wielding guards no less).

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Reply 19 - Posted by: Ida Lou Pino, 1/16/2013 5:41:49 PM     (No. 9120825)

A great way to recycle cardboard.

I´m all for it!

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Reply 20 - Posted by: franq, 1/16/2013 6:05:20 PM     (No. 9120864)

Hey-ho, LCP engine blocks. They melt the first time you fire the engine up, but never fear, the warranty gives you a replacement!

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Reply 21 - Posted by: LanieLou, 1/16/2013 6:51:25 PM     (No. 9120961)

Who eliminated our Nat´l Safety Standards for cars? I guess it fits well with their population reduction goals. I´ll be driving my 11 year old car until it falls apart.

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Reply 22 - Posted by: dman, 1/16/2013 7:44:16 PM     (No. 9121070)

Dangerous, unless some standards for trucks, as in Japan. Standardize headlight and bumper height from roadway ("monster" tires included), for starters. Automatic computerized braking on all vehicles - trucks included. Anti-drowsiness measures. Out of lane prevention. Conservation of momentum guarantees that the heavier vehicle always "wins", but things can be done to mitigate the "impact".

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