President Obama’s ambitious and controversial environmental action plan has set forth a number actions by the private industry. Much of the President’s emphasis has been placed within the automobile industry. For instance, he would like to “Put 1 million Plug-In Hybrid cars — cars that can get up to 150 miles per gallon — on the road by 2015, cars that we will work to make sure are built here in America” (Change.gov). Unfortunately for the Obama administration, it has not reached its goal with hybrid car sales topping out at 2.5% of market share in 2009 and decreasing since then (money.cnn.com).
Nevertheless, the automobile industry- in direct partnership with the steel industry- have begun creating innovative solutions for the administrations goal of every car on the road maintaining a 54 mile per gallon standard. Leading this effort is the worlds largest steel production company, ArcelorMittal, writes Meribah Knight in Crain’s Business Weekly.
ArcelorMittal, “After testing 1,500 designs over three years in its global R&D center in East Chicago, Indiana… has come up with what its engineers think will be a key component of the car of the future” (Crain’s, pg. 3). Combined with modern engine technology, the weight of the vehicle is paramount in reducing emissions from vehicles. A mere “10 percent can improve fuel economy by 6 to 8 percent” (Crain’s, page 12).
ArcelorMittal has began altering the steel composition of the automobile by designing new doors and alloys that will continue to decrease the weight of the vehicle. They accomplish this by amending the alloy with various metals such as silicon, nickel, and aluminum.
Overall, steel is integral to the manufacturing of cars and innovation within that field will bear the brunt of accomplishing President Obama’s environmental agenda of the standardized 54 mpg car. With competition among firms for the top bid of automobile contracts, the desired result of increases efficiency is inevitable.