DETROIT, June 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Steel Market Development Institute's (SMDI) Automotive Applications Council was pleased to receive the American Metal Market magazine's 2012 Steel Excellence Award in the environmental responsibility / stewardship category last night for its role in the global FutureSteelVehicle (FSV) project. Lawrence W. Kavanagh, president, SMDI, accepted the award at a dinner celebration during the Steel Success Strategies XXVII Conference in New York City. This is the second time SMDI has won a Steel Excellence Award from the publication, winning in 2010 for its UltraLight Steel automotive research initiative.
The FSV project was conducted with 17 global steel companies in collaboration with WorldAutoSteel to advance the state-of-the-art of automobile bodies and to lower the total greenhouse gas emissions of vehicles. The project results help vehicle makers respond effectively to more stringent emissions and fuel economy standards, while maintaining vehicle performance without cost penalty. The project, which used 97 percent high-strength steel and advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) in the body designs, included structural variants for battery electric, plug-in hybrids and fuel cell powertrains. It made use of life cycle assessment to measure the impact of design decisions on the vehicle's total carbon footprint.
"This award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the global automotive steel industry, including its sharp focus on innovative ways to reduce vehicle mass and cost, while meeting comprehensive crash safety standards and environmental footprint goals," Kavanagh said. "We accept the award on behalf of this successful collaboration, which is truly driving the future of light vehicle design."
The FSV program, which introduced more than 20 grades of AHSS, developed steel body structure designs that reduce mass by more than 35 percent over a benchmark vehicle and reduce total life cycle emissions by nearly 70 percent.
The project results demonstrate that the coupling of a lightweight AHSS body structure with a battery electric powertrain results in a 50 to 70 percent reduction in life cycle emissions, depending on the energy source, compared to similar-sized vehicles with conventional gasoline-powered internal combustion engines. On a pump-to-wheel basis, all four FSV powertrain variants emit less than 95 grams CO2 equivalents per kilometer. The plug-in hybrid electric and battery electric vehicles produce zero tailpipe emissions when driven in all-electric mode.
"The FSV program considered the lifetime carbon footprint of the vehicle, not simply the use phase," Kavanagh said. "This approach allowed us to take advantage of steelmaking's low emissions and steel's innate recyclability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over every phase of the vehicle life cycle, making a significantly lower environmental impact."
American Metal Market's Awards for Steel Excellence recognize the most innovative companies across multiple categories. Nominations are evaluated by a judging panel (from leading businesses in the steel industry) that provides an impartial, professional and wide-ranging level of expertise.
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