Car Companies Looking Into Weight Reduction For Their Trucks

Weight is a growing issue in the automotive industry and now that the United States government has issued an overhaul to the fuel economy and emission standards, automakers are going to need to find ways to lower their vehicle's weight to save fuel and our precious planet.

While Ferrari, Porsche and other exotic automakers are shedding weight with carbon fiber, most of those vehicles don’t make up a large segment of the market. Trucks, on the other hand, do and the most fuel-efficient truck nets around 22 miles per gallon. So, to solve this issue, automakers are attempting to lower their truck's weight.

Currently, trucks rely on massive amounts of steel in order to provide strength when towing and hauling various items. In the future, automakers like Ford are looking into switching to aluminum body panels and a magnesium-aluminum alloy frame for the new F-150.

Ford is also looking into creating a unibody design that could net a weight reduction of 800 to 1,000 pounds.

GM is also looking at ways to place their trucks on a diet. The Chevrolet Silverado and the GMC Sierra will be the first trucks to employ new standards of production. GM has said that it is aiming to shed around 500 pounds by 2016.

“It’s a tough task, but we’re facing it as grown-ups,” Rick Spina, who leads full-size truck development for GM, told Reuters on the subject of using aluminum and magnesium in truck production. “We’re going to do everything we can to keep the customer from realizing we’ve had to make changes in a fundamental way.”

Four years after their initial weight reduction aim, GM is looking to shed another 500 pounds. That means by 2020, GM trucks will have dropped 1,000 pounds, something Gillian Michaels could only dream amount.

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