The value of automotive lightweighting.
The value of automotive lightweighting.
The materials helping meet fuel economy requirements.
The materials helping meet fuel economy requirements.

According to the survey, half of automotive engineers predict those regulations will strengthen, only 8% predict regulations will relax, primarily due to economic and cost issues. Some 25% expect no change, the results show.

“Fuel and emission standards throughout the world are driving significant changes in vehicle design,” said Diane H Gulyas, DuPont performance polymers. “There are multiple solutions simultaneously getting into the market and the industry must continue to work in harmony to develop low emission, fuel-efficient vehicles that consumers want to drive.”

The results showed that  lightweighting vehicles to help meet targets is becoming ever important. Lightweighting is core to meeting new standards and one that is growing in value, according to more than 60% of respondents.  Further, when asked which systems are the most likely targets – all ranked relatively equally.  “The results reflect that every system, every component throughout the vehicle is a candidate for weight savings,” Gulyas said. While in the past respondents to the survey highlighted aluminium as a key material, this year, other metals have also been considered, including advanced steel and magnesium.

However, in 2011, the automotive engineering community said it was not confident that today’s materials portfolio would help them meet regulations.

More than 1,300 subscribers to industry publication WardsAuto responded to the survey.