Steel industry calls for shift in vehicle regulations

The World Steel Association has called for vehicle emissions regulations to be based on a total lifecycle assessment (LCA). It said some alternative materials being used to lighten structures such as aluminium, magnesium and carbon fibre produce emissions during manufacture that can be five to 20 times greater than steel.

Currently, legislation is based on tailpipe emissions, which has prompted some car makers to adopt materials and manufacturing processes that are more energy and carbon intensive in an effort to lighten structures. Additionally, tailpipe legislation doesn't assess the full environmental impact of hybrid or electric vehicles.

Cees ten Broek, director of the automotive group of the World Steel Association, WorldAutoSteel, said: "When a vehicle emissions assessment is focused solely on emissions produced during the driving phase, this encourages the use of greenhouse gas-intensive materials in an effort to reduce vehicle weight and fuel consumption."

Justin Cunningham

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