There are many reasons why steel is the best choice for future mobility.
New vehicle requirements will demand new innovations for crash management. Steel has the ability to provide needed strength while keeping the material thin, which lends more room in the passenger cabin and enables mass efficient structures.
Steel is the proven and trusted material for engineering crash structures that provide passenger comfort and security. Developing a structural design for the passenger compartment becomes challenging, since there is now a need to strike a balance between occupant safety and occupant freedom. Steel is needed to provide the unique properties of both crash energy absorption and deflection, while also managing the loads associated with passengers in multiple and diverse seating configurations.
Steel production has the lowest carbon footprint of all automotive structural materials. Steel’s constant evolution will continue to enable even lighter yet stronger designs, thereby further minimizing vehicle carbon footprint from a Life Cycle perspective. Steel’s inherent material characteristics are world recognized for their alignment with Circular Economy goals for use reduction, reuse, remanufacture and recycling.
Steel and steel technologies remain the most cost-effective solutions for manufacturing vehicles in the world today.
Total Cost of Ownership
Through constant innovation, steel remains the most cost-effective material for lightweighting, crash safety, battery protection, and manufacturing. Steel supports flexible design options, battery optimization and safety, and is durable, repairable, recyclable, and affordable for ride sharing fleets.
Ride-hailing vehicles will require a useful life that is at least 2x longer than current passenger vehicles. Steel’s characteristics of strength, durability, and repairability align dynamically with the needs of these next generation vehicles, while supporting optimal total cost of ownership.
(Connected, Urban Enironments)
Steel E-Motive’s concepts for shared mobility aim to provide affordable options that can fill the gaps in urban transportation systems; the ability to serve the underserved more efficiently links to the missions of smart cities around the world.
Steel has and continues to successfully reinvent itself with the family of Advanced High-Strength Steels (AHSS), engineered to meet evolving vehicle design and manufacturing demands. Mobility Service Providers will need vehicles that can meet consumer expectations for safety and comfort, while being cost effective to own and maintain. Steel can provide the combination of traits required to achieve these objectives.
Autonomous operation yields new options with the removal of driver and controls and reconsidering front-end interior space. Curb-side ride hailing management requires new solutions for ingress-egress, which will affect side-crash load management. Steel enables the needed strength to manage these new demands with enhanced, efficient architectures.
Lightweighting will continue to be important to balance reduced battery volumes with maximized range. The steel industry has been and will continue to develop products, such as the ever-growing family of Advanced High-Strength Steels (AHSS), to meet mass reduction and safety targets efficiently and affordably.