New Materials Improve Efficiency
Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Lightweight Materials research and development activities focus on the development and validation of advanced materials and manufacturing technologies to significantly reduce light and heavy duty vehicle weight without compromising other attributes such as safety, performance, recyclability, and cost.
Because it takes less energy to accelerate a lighter vehicle, replacing traditional steel components with lightweight materials can directly reduce fuel consumption. It also allows cars to carry advanced emissions control equipment, safety devices, and integrated electronic systems without becoming heavier. Lightweight materials are especially important for improving the efficiency and range of hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and electric vehicles because they offset the weight of power systems such as batteries and electric motors.