480 ideas for lighter vehicles have now come together at the international "Massive Lightweight Construction" initiative. It was launched in 2013 under the leadership of the Industrieverband Massivumformung (Industrial Association for Solid Forming) and the Steel Institute VDEh . The focus is on the potential for lightweight construction in the powertrain and chassis of hybrid cars as well as the transmission and powertrain of heavy-duty commercial vehicles. Weight savings of up to 99 kilograms have already been achieved in earlier project phases.
Phase III started in July 2017 with a total of 39 companies from Europe, Japan, and the USA. Two vehicles were dismantled and documented for this purpose. As a result, 80 experts from the participating companies inspected the components to develop ideas for possible lightweight construction measures. 350 ideas were accumulated for hybrid cars and for 131 truck powertrains. Overall, they could result in a weight saving of 93 kilograms in passenger cars and 124 kilograms in trucks. The first specific results will be presented in September at three specialist events.
The project was presented at the Hannover Messe in April. There are good reasons for the fight for every kilo. Electric cars need larger batteries to achieve a longer range, for example. The extra weight has to be saved elsewhere. Emphasis is placed on fuel efficiency and environmental compatibility for gasoline engines too, both can be achieved by a lower total weight.