Tesla Model S relies on aluminum to maximize electric vehicle's range

(June 23, 2012) DETROIT — As Tesla launched its new Model S sedan this week, the Aluminum Association's Aluminum Transportation Group (ATG) applauded its intensive use of aluminum to help the all-electric vehicle save weight, allowing it to go farther while producing zero emissions and offering rapid acceleration and nimble performance.

"Tesla's Model S is an example of the next frontier in what automakers are achieving with aluminum," said ATG Chairman Randall Scheps. "Tesla is among the leaders driving automotive aluminum use, which will double within a decade yielding more mass produced, high volume aluminum-intensive vehicles that will hit showrooms. Consumers will benefit from this increased growth, as aluminum helps automakers meet the fuel economy, emissions, performance, safety and durability goals that consumers demand."

Research shows that aluminum use in electric and other alternative powertrain vehicles helps offset heavy battery weight, increasing driving range or fuel economy and improving performance. This helps save money, as less energy is required to move lighter vehicles, resulting in better efficiency, a lower cost to produce and a shorter payback period for the consumer.

ATG officials say aluminum offers a simple solution to automakers of all types of vehicles as they increasingly turn to the metal to produce lighter, more efficient vehicles without compromising performance or safety.