An Assessment of Mass Reduction Opportunities for a 2017-2020 Model Year Vehicle Program
The Energy Foundation funded Lotus Engineering to generate a technical paper which would identify potential mass reduction opportunities for a selected baseline vehicle representing the crossover utility segment. Lotus Engineering prepared this document in collaboration with a number of automotive and regulatory experts and submitted it to the ICCT.
The 2009 Toyota Venza was selected as the baseline vehicle for evaluation although the materials, concepts and methodologies are applicable to other vehicle segments such as passenger cars and trucks. They could be further developed in separate studies for other applications. This study encompassed all vehicle systems, sub-systems and components.
This study was divided into two categories, allowing two distinct vehicle architectures to be analyzed.
The first vehicle architecture, titled the “Low Development” vehicle, targeted a 20% vehicle mass reduction (less powertrain), utilizing technologies feasible for a 2014 program start and 2017 production, was based on competitive benchmarking applying industry leading mass reducing technologies, improved materials, component integration and assembled using existing facilities.
The second vehicle architecture, titled the “High Development” vehicle targeted a 40% vehicle mass reduction (less powertrain), targeted for 2017 technology readiness and 2020 production, utilized primarily non-ferrous materials, a high degree of component integration with advanced joining and assembly methodologies. Comparative piece costs were developed; indirect costs, including tooling and assembly plant architecture, were beyond the scope of this study.
Both studies showed potential to meet their mass targets with minimal piece cost impact. Structural and impact analyses were beyond the scope of this study; these results could impact the mass and cost estimates. All powertrain related hardware studies were subject to a separate paper referenced herein.
(Source: Lotus Engineering)