Caffrey, C., Bolon, K., Kolwich, G., Johnston, R. et al., "Cost-Effectiveness of a Lightweight Design for 2020-2025: An Assessment of a Light-Duty Pickup Truck," SAE Technical Paper 2015-01-0559, 2015, doi:10.4271/2015-01-0559.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency contracted with FEV North America, Inc. to conduct a whole vehicle analysis of the potential for mass reduction and related cost impacts for a future light-duty pickup truck. The goal was to evaluate the incremental costs of reducing vehicle mass on a body on frame vehicle at levels that are feasible in the 2020 to 2025 model year (MY) timeframe given the design, material, and manufacturing processes likely to be available, without sacrificing utility, performance, or safety.The holistic, vehicle-level approach and body-structure CAE modeling that were demonstrated in a previous study of a mid-sized crossover utility vehicle were used for this study. In addition, evaluations of closures performance, durability, and vehicle dynamics that are unique to pickup trucks are included. Secondary mass reduction was also analyzed on a part by part basis with consideration of vehicle performance requirements.This paper presents an overview of the study “Vehicle Mass Reduction and Cost Analysis-Light-duty Pickup Truck Model Years 2020-2025”, by FEV North America, Inc. This study indicates that when mass reduction strategies are considered using a full-vehicle approach, significant mass reduction can be achieved relative to a 2011 light-duty pickup while maintaining vehicle functional objectives. The incremental results are assembled into a curve for mass reduction costs (in $/kg), as a function of the vehicle mass reduction level. Results from the study show that relative to the baseline vehicle (2011MY), mass reduction levels below 9% can result in a cost savings (cumulative net incremental direct manufacturing costs) with cumulative costs increasing to $4.36/kg, or $2,228 per vehicle, at 21.4% (510.9 kg) mass reduction.