Alcoa Executive Emphasizes Aluminum Advantages for Commercial Vehicle Market at SAE Conference

October 14, 2009

NEW YORK–Low weight aluminum offers real-world fuel economy and emissions
benefits to manufacturers of commercial vehicles. That was the key
message Todd Summe, Division Manager, Product Design & Development for
Alcoa (NYSE:AA), told attendees at the SAE Commercial Vehicle
Engineering & Exhibition held last week in Illinois. Summe participated
in a panel discussion on sustainability issues representing the Aluminum
Association’s Aluminum Transportation Group.

“With many challenges facing the commercial vehicle industry, including
concern over greenhouse gas emissions, fuel costs and federal mandates
that add weight to vehicles, high strength, yet low weight aluminum
offers real-world solutions today,” said Summe. “Aluminum offers a 40-50
percent weight savings over steel. Fleet and owner operators want
increased payload, better fuel economy and reduced emissions, which
aluminum delivers on all fronts.”

Summe discussed the advantages of using advanced aluminum applications
in commercial vehicles and cited research that validates the benefit of
lightweighting. For example, aluminum use in cars globally saves 300
million tons of greenhouse gas emissions and 35 billion gallons of
gasoline annually.

“Lightweight aluminum presents an opportunity for the trucking industry
to improve fuel efficiency and payload, reduce operating costs and
emissions, improve durability, increase resale value, and meet
sustainability goals because aluminum is infinitely recyclable. All
this, without sacrificing safety and performance,” Summe said.

Other facts Summe highlighted include:

  • Road testing of a bus fleet in China indicates a 3,000 pound weight
    savings achieved through an aluminum spaceframe, forged aluminum
    wheels and aluminum skin – the body is 46% lighter than a comparable
    steel bus body.
  • An aluminum wheel can improve tire rolling resistance by up to 3% over
    a comparable size steel wheel – 3% less rolling resistance equals 1%
    fuel savings.
  • Aluminum provides increased value and mileage when matched with hybrid
    electric vehicles, compared to steel bodied vehicles.

For a copy of Summe’s presentation go to
To learn more about Alcoa’s commercial transportation capabilities visit

About Alcoa

Alcoa is the world leader in the production and management of primary
aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina combined, through its active
and growing participation in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa
serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction,
commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design,
engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa’s businesses to
customers. In addition to aluminum products and components including
flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, Alcoa also
markets Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment
castings, and building systems. The Company has been named one of the
top most sustainable corporations in the world at the World Economic
Forum in Davos, Switzerland and has been a member of the Dow Jones
Sustainability Index for eight consecutive years. Alcoa employs
approximately 63,000 people in 31 countries across the world. More
information can be found at