Companies speaking at the Aluminium in Automotive conference in Birmingham, UK said they had to meet EU legislation which states all new cars built after January 1, 2012 will have a CO2 emission level of 130g per km travelled. It is currently 180gCO2/km and by 2020 the aim is to reach 100gCO2/km.

Jaguar Land Rover’s Chief Technical Specialist for Body Structures, Mark White, said its target was to build a 1000kg car, which would help achieve a 100gCO2/km mark.

The company is investigating the overall life cycle of the vehicle. A 100kg reduction in the weight of a car saves 650kg of carbon during production, 720kg in fuel improvement and 86kg of fuel production during the course of a vehicle’s lifetime.

Nissan’s Mark Ellis said potential solutions for lightweighting included downsizing the power train, such as smaller engines and transmissions, application of lighter weight materials, and efficiency increases such as reduced friction and optimised gear ratios.

Similarly to Jaguar Land Rover, it is taking an overall life cycle approach and said mass reduction was self perpetuating and that lighter vehicles need lighter components, which in turn leads to better fuel efficiency, lower emissions and cost savings.

A detailed review of the Aluminium in Automotive Conference will appear in a forthcoming issue of AIT. The event is organised by the UK’s Aluminium Federation (Alfed) and Aluminium Alloy Manufacturing & Recycling Association