LIGHTWEIGHT AND FUEL-EFFICIENT VEHICLES

The world as a whole is working hard to reduce carbon emissions and promote a more sustainable use of natural resources. In the automotive industry, this has brought about two major trends—vehicles that are both lightweight and fuel-efficient.

 

This is because, the lighter the vehicle, the lower its fuel consumption. According to Mr Sun Minbo, Department Manager of Automotive Components under Jebsen Automotive Technik, a 100kg reduction in vehicle weight can lower fuel consumption by 0.3 to 0.5L. In addition, this also improves acceleration and braking performance, making it more appealing to drivers as well.

 

According to Mr Sun Minbo, Department Manager of Automotive Components under Jebsen Automotive Technik, a 100kg reduction in vehicle weight can lower fuel consumption by 0.3 to 0.5L.

 

Lightweight, heavy impact

Instead of conventional steel and aluminium, automakers are steadily turning to new materials like aluminium alloys, magnesium alloys, carbon fibre and even plastic to build their vehicles.

 

“These new materials offer advantages beyond bringing down vehicle weight and reducing emissions. They can also help lower production costs from a long-term perspective. In 2011, aluminium alloy was used in just 3.6% of vehicle bodies in Europe. By 2015, this had risen to 20%,” revealed Mr Sun. “This trend is also picking up in the luxury car segment and electric car segment. We believe that lightweight materials will eventually become the norm.”

 

However, Mr Sun suggests that incorporating lightweight materials into the auto manufacturing process requires technical expertise: “Take aluminium alloy for example. As it oxidises easily, the dust created by the welding process can pose an explosion risk. Traditional welding methods have to be done under strict inert gas controlled environments, which can increase production costs.”

 

Instead, a riveting process that reduces the number of intermediate steps can help automakers avoid this problem while attaining economic efficiency. Mr Sun points to PROFIL , a German leader in mechanical fastening technology and a long-standing partner of Jebsen Industrial.

 

PROFIL is the choice of all major European automakers. This is a strong testament of the excellence of their fastening systems. As PROFIL ’s exclusive partner in China, our value comes from our local presence and market understanding. We serve as a business and technical consultant as well as a bridge between customers here and PROFIL in Germany, so that every project is seamless and well coordinated,” explained Mr Sun.

 

Driving fuel efficiency

Reducing vehicle weight alone, however, hardly achieves the fuel efficiency and carbon emissions objectives of today’s automakers and drivers. Upgrading engine technology, especially in the form of oil pumps, can have a dramatic impact.

 

“A variable oil pump is able to cope with the needs of the actual engine operating conditions, which can adjust the rotation displacement, thereby reducing unnecessary power consumption of the engine. It enables to achieve the purpose of reducing the fuel consumption. In China, international auto brands now account for about 60% of the variable oil pump market but we believe that more domestic brands adopt this technology in the future,” said Mr Sun.  

 

Jebsen-TCG , which is a joint venture between Jebsen Group and Austria’s TCG Unitech, is dedicated to manufacturing high quality variable oil pumps that use patented technology to increase fuel efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and extend engine life.

 

“I believe Jebsen-TCG is the first company in China to manufacture variable oil pumps on a large scale. At the moment, all the variable oil pumps used in Volkswagen vehicles are made by Jebsen-TCG . We are also seeing growing support from more American and European OEM customers, which bodes well for China’s overall sustainability efforts.”

 

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