A recent study has shown the use of aluminum in cars manufactured in Europe is on a steady rise and has also grown substantially over the past two decades. In 1990, cars on average used about 50kg of the lightweight metal. By 2005, this figure had grown to 132kg, and is expected to grow another 25kg by 2010. Aluminum is a lot lighter than conventional steel, which allows the vehicle to save weight and improve fuel economy, but is also more expensive than steel. The study was conducted by Knibb, Gormezano & Partners with the European Aluminum Association and was based off 15 million cars produced in Europe in 2006.
Aluminum can be used in many of the components of a car, including engine internals, body panels and even the interior trim. Car’s like Jaguar’s XJ sedan uses aluminum extensively in the vehicle’s body, allowing it to weigh much less than many of its similarly sized rivals. As the cost of manufacturing aluminum reduces over time, we’re likely to see more mainstream models adopting the metal.