Attack on aluminum is unmerited – by Lauren Wilk (Automotive News – January 20, 2020)

Lauren Wilk is the Vice president, policy and international trade for the Aluminum Association.

If the facts are not on your side, pound the table and yell like hell — an old saying that evokes the steel industry’s latest environmental attack against the aluminum industry (“Manufacturing materials count in vehicles’ impact on planet,” Dec. 9).

When the largest material by volume regularly focuses attention on the second most used material, it suggests grave concern. Perhaps it is because, as DuckerFrontier recently confirmed again, aluminum is the fastest-growing automotive material, gaining market share from steel, year over year.

When steel industry studies boast that steel is the greatest, perhaps skepticism is merited. Here’s what independent experts confirm:

-The EPA reviewed dozens of life-cycle analyses and confirmed, “Aluminum was identified as the material most often specified by the LCAs for providing the highest benefits in terms of life-cycle energy and [greenhouse gas] reductions.” EPA researchers also observed that no studies, other than those from the steel industry, claim steel is more sustainable than aluminum overall.

-The Oak Ridge National Laboratory studied life-cycle carbon emissions, and its peer-reviewed report concluded that “a proven way to reduce the carbon footprint of vehicles is to further increase the use of lightweight materials, such as aluminum alloys, in place of heavier, less-efficient steels.

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