Ford Motor Company has announced that they may be making a major change to the design of future Ford F-150s. Upcoming models could feature an aluminum body, as opposed to the steel body of old.
The change to aluminum is being done in response to tougher federal fuel economy targets. In 2011, the Obama administration was able to pass new fuel-economy regulations that require every U.S. vehicle fleet to average 54.5 mpg by 2025.
The switch to aluminum will cut the F-150’s weight by roughly 700 pounds, which is a 15 percent decrease in overall weight. Not only will the initial weight reduction increase mpg, but it will also open the door so that Ford is able to outfit the F-150 with smaller, more fuel efficient engines.
“Aluminum is certainly a big opportunity for weight reduction,” said Raj Nair, the global chief of product development. “We have been public that weight reduction is going to be a big part of our strategy.”
The aluminum body will only be used on the F-150. Ford’s F-250 and heavy trucks do not fall under the new fuel-economy guidelines.