AISI to EPA and NHTSA: Advanced Steel Technologies and Collaborative Efforts Can Help Meet Stringent Emissions and Fuel Economy Standards

October 21, 2009

DETROIT, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ — Through the collaborative efforts of the North American steel industry and automotive manufacturers, significant advancements are being made in fuel economy and vehicle emissions performance, according to Ron Krupitzer, vice president of automotive applications for AISI’s Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI). Krupitzer and Jody Shaw, manager of technical marketing and product research for U. S. Steel, addressed the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) at a hearing today on a proposed rulemaking held in Romulus, Mich.

“The steel industry continues to develop innovative automotive steel products to provide safe, practical and affordable solutions to reduce vehicle weight, which is an effective strategy for meeting proposed emissions and fuel economy standards,” Krupitzer said. “Advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) have already proven to reduce the mass of body structural components by 25 percent or more, compared to mild steel. Plus, mass reduction with AHSS can be achieved more affordably than with other materials.”

The proposed rulemaking addresses light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas emission standards and the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard, which are consistent with the National Fuel Efficiency Policy announced by President Obama in May 2009 to address global climate change and fuel consumption.

According to Shaw, steel plays an important role in reducing the energy consumption and CO(2) emissions across all phases of the vehicle’s life, including manufacturing, driving and end of life. When all of these phases are considered, the result can be lower life cycle emissions for AHSS compared to other materials such as aluminum or magnesium.

“In order to comply with the tailpipe-only regulations, automakers may inadvertently select materials that increase the life cycle carbon footprint of the vehicle,” Shaw said. “While other materials may provide mass advantages in vehicles, the resulting improvement in fuel economy may not offset the energy use and CO(2) emissions that result from manufacturing and recycling of a vehicle containing the replacement materials. To address these unintended consequences, a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach is needed.” The LCA approach assists automakers in evaluating and reducing the total energy consumed and the lifetime greenhouse gas emissions of their products.

Krupitzer also discussed the significant accomplishments being made through collaborative efforts with automakers and the North American steel industry to improve vehicle safety and reduce mass. Through the work of car company and steel company engineers, AHSS grades have become the fastest growing material in new vehicles, rising to nearly 15 percent of all steel in new vehicles today.

Both Krupitzer and Shaw praised the work of the North American steel industry in reducing its carbon footprint by improvements in steelmaking. “Since 1990, the North American steel industry has reduced the energy and carbon intensity of steel by 33 percent,” Krupitzer said.

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and through its business unit, SMDI, conducts research with its member companies in partnership with its customers to advance the use of steel in the marketplace.

To download a copy of Krupitzer and Shaw’s testimonies, visit www.autosteel.org.

The Automotive Applications Council is a part of AISI’s Steel Market Development Institute. The council focuses on advancing the use of steel in the highly competitive automotive market. For more news or information, visit www.autosteel.org.

Automotive Applications Council investors are:

  • ArcelorMittal Dofasco
  • ArcelorMittal USA
  • Nucor Corporation
  • Severstal North America
  • United States Steel Corporation

SOURCE American Iron and Steel Institute

Source: newswire

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