The Chinese Zhengzhou Yutong Bus Company and Alcoa have formed a partnership to develop a new generation of aluminium-based, environmentally-friendly buses.
A recent study by the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research in Heidelberg, Germany, which was presented last month at the 2007 China Aluminium and Transportation Conference in Dalian, revealed that a weight reduction of 100kg in a diesel-powered city bus making several stops will save 2,550 litres of fuel and significantly reduce C02 equivalent green house gas emissions over its lifetime.
‘Our companies believe that through the combination of aluminium spaceframe design and advanced manufacturing technologies, we can achieve 15 to 20 percent weight reductions while maintaining the safety and enhancing the sustainability performance of a new family of buses,’ said Jinya Chen, Alcoa’s president for the Asia-Pacific Region.
Alcoa already produces cast and extruded components for the Audi A8 aluminium space frame (ASF) in Germany and manufactures aluminium spaceframes for all Ferrari Gran Turismo vehicles in Italy.
‘Our goal is to work with Yutong to achieve significantly more than100kg weight reduction per vehicle,’ added Jinya Chen, Alcoa’s President for the Asia-Pacific Region.
It is anticipated that prototypes of the busses will be ready in time for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.