Doubling Down on Lighter More Efficient Vehicles

The lighter the vehicle, the farther it travels on a gallon of fuel. That's the driver behind the four new projects designed to overcome technical hurdles in reducing the weight of vehicle components. The projects are part of a first round of industrial assistance opportunities supported by the Department of Energy's LightMAT — the Lightweight Materials Consortium.

DOE will provide $1.2 million to further lightweight vehicles through research on materials and processing. Over the next two years, three DOE national laboratories will provide technical assistance to five industry partners. Each industry partner will match DOE's investment dollar for dollar at a minimum to advance lightweight materials technology.

"LightMAT enables DOE's national laboratories to assist industry with very fundamental scientific research that will make even lighter vehicles possible," said LightMAT director Darrell Herling, who is also an engineer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. "We asked industry applicants to bring us their biggest technical challenges in implementing lightweight materials, and we'll bring the right capabilities and knowhow, not available outside the national lab system, to bear on the problem."

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If lighter materials can be manufactured more cost- and energy-efficiently, it will speed-up their adoption into vehicles. Participating industrial partners will apply and test approaches developed in these projects and ultimately, as global-suppliers, be able to provide lightweight components to multiple vehicle producers and increase the U.S. competitiveness in manufacturing generally.

Source: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Date: Jul 17, 2017