DETROIT, Nov. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The North American steel industry and the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) can help "paint the town green," as the 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas has been named the 2012 Green Car of the Year® by Green Car Journal. This is due, in part, to the extensive use of high-strength and advanced high-strength steels on the vehicle.
The 2012 Civic Natural Gas is the fifth generation of this alternative fuel vehicle and the only assembly-line produced natural gas passenger model manufactured for sale in the United States.
The body of the Civic Natural Gas is designed to be stylish and aerodynamic, while simultaneously offering high levels of safety protection. The increased use of higher strength steels – now totaling 55 percent, compared to 50 percent in earlier models – contributes to a 7 percent reduction in body weight and enhanced safety performance. In addition to reducing body weight, high-strength steels also contribute to lower total life cycle emissions, because steel production emits one-twentieth to one fifth the CO2 of alternative materials and steel can be recycled over and over at the end of a vehicle's life.
"Advanced high-strength steels allow automakers to offer the very best in crash safety, while also saving weight, leading to improved fuel economy," Ron Krupitzer, vice president of automotive applications for SMDI, said. "Steel's unique strength and forming properties enable the Civic to achieve excellent crash protection without negatively impacting styling."
In addition to being lighter, the Civic's static and dynamic rigidity are also 10 percent higher, a testimony to Honda's excellent structural optimization with high-strength steels. The rigid body allows the structure to remain steady while the suspension moves, resulting in a smooth ride and a solid, confident and responsive driving feel.
Green Car Journal is a leading online publication dedicated to providing avid car enthusiasts, environmentalists and everyday consumers with information about green vehicles, green energy and technologies. Selecting this year's Green Car of the Year was a jury of six environmental and automotive experts, Green Car Journal editors, as well as several invited jurors.
The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute, grows and maintains the use of steel through strategies that promote cost-effective solutions in the automotive, construction and container markets, as well as for new growth opportunities in emerging steel markets. For more news or information, visit www.autosteel.org.
SMDI investors include:
- AK Steel Corporation
- ArcelorMittal Dofasco
- ArcelorMittal USA LLC
- Nucor Corporation
- Severstal North America Inc.
- ThyssenKrupp Steel USA, LLC
- United States Steel Corporation
SOURCE Steel Market Development Institute