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Lotus Engineering Study Shows 38% Vehicle Mass Improvement Possible by 2020
In brief: Lotus Engineering conducted a detailed study to develop a commercially-viable mass reduction strategy for mainstream vehicles and concluded that a 38% reduction in vehicle mass could be possible by 2020.
The study was released by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) and focused on the use of lightweight materials and efficient design.
The benchmark vehicle for the study was a Toyota Venza crossover and showed a 38% reduction in vehicle mass (not including power train) can be achieved with only a 3% increase in component costs to do so. The change would require updates to engineering techniques and technologies, all available for mainstream production programs by 2020.
Most of the weight reductions were due to the utilization of lighter materials, a higher degree of component integration, and advanced joining and assembly methodologies.
The U.S. Department of Energy's estimates show that this reduction (using 33% to include the power train) would increase fuel mileage by 23%. That would mean an increase from the current Venza's 21/29 city/hwy mileage to 26/35 city/hwy.
And so ...
Very interesting study and, of course, right along Lotus' line of expertise.
Photo credits: Lotus Engineering / ICCT
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