Alcoa and Aluminum Play Major Role in New EPA/NHTSA Effort To Reduce GHG Emissions and Increase Fuel Efficiency

August 15, 2011

NEW YORK–Alcoa (NYSE:AA) and the aluminum industry play a major role in the new
effort to reduce GHG emissions and increase fuel efficiency for medium
and heavy trucks and buses announced last week by the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration. The first-of-their-kind fuel efficiency and emission
standards are projected to save businesses that own and operate
commercial vehicles approximately $50 billion in fuel costs over the
life of the program.

The final rules call for trucks and buses built in 2014 through 2018 to
reduce oil consumption by a projected 530 million barrels and greenhouse
gas (GHG) pollution by approximately 270 million metric tons. The rules
cite many levers that can be used to achieve the goals, including the
increased use of lightweight materials such as aluminum. In fact, cited
in the final rules is a study conducted by Alcoa that shows the
potential to save 3,500 to 4,500 pounds across a tractor-trailer
combination through the increased use of aluminum in frame rails,
wheels, and fifth wheels.

The new rules go on to say, “…the DOE reviewed prospective
light-weighting alternative materials and found that aluminum has
potential to reduce mass by 40-60%, which is in line with the
estimates…provided by Alcoa and the Aluminum Association” (page 101 of

The agencies also reviewed the use of many alternative materials to help
improve fuel efficiency and lower GHG emissions. “Based on this
analysis, the agencies developed an expanded list of weight reduction
opportunities for the final rulemaking (table 11-9).” The table shows
nearly 30 technologies and the potential weight savings of each using
aluminum or steel. In nearly each instance the savings from aluminum is
at least twice that of steel and in some instances the benefits
of aluminum are five times those of steel.

For example using aluminum to develop frame rails for a truck, instead
of the steel currently used, would save 440 pounds while using
high-strength steel would save 87 pounds. And brake drums made of
aluminum would save 140 pounds compared with 11 pounds of savings from

“The goals to reduce emissions and increase fuel efficiency found in
these new rules are obviously spot-on,” said Helmut Wieser, Alcoa
Executive Vice President and Group President Alcoa Global Rolled
Products and head of the Company’s Ground Transportation market team.
“The good news for OEM’s, owners and operators is that there are safe
technologies and solutions ready right now to help them achieve the

“Aluminum is a key part of the solution. Just as with auto makers and
their new fuel efficiency goals under CAFÉ, light weighting with
aluminum is both a driver for meeting these goals, but also is an
enabler for cost reduction through savings in other aspects of the
vehicle such as drive trains.”

The complete rules may be found at

About Alcoa

Alcoa is the world’s leading producer of primary and fabricated
aluminum, as well as the world’s largest miner of bauxite and refiner of
alumina. In addition to inventing the modern-day aluminum industry,
Alcoa innovation has been behind major milestones in the aerospace,
automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial
transportation, consumer electronics and industrial markets over the
past 120 years. Among the solutions Alcoa markets are flat-rolled
products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, as well as Alcoa® wheels,
fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building
systems in addition to its expertise in other light metals such as
titanium and nickel-based super alloys. Sustainability is an integral
part of Alcoa’s operating practices and the product design and
engineering it provides to customers. Alcoa has been a member of the Dow
Jones Sustainability Index for nine consecutive years and approximately
75 percent of all of the aluminum ever produced since 1888 is still in
active use today. Alcoa employs approximately 59,000 people in 31
countries across the world. More information can be found at