Steel industry seeks emissions regulations change

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Oct. 13, 2011—WorldAutoSteel, the automotive arm of the World Steel Association, on Thursday made a call for new vehicle emissions regulations focused on all aspects of a vehicle’s life cycle rather than tailpipe emissions. 

The new regulations would consider materials, vehicle production, driving, and end-of-life recycling.“When vehicle emissions assessments are focused solely on the emissions produced during the driving phase (tailpipe), it encourages the use of greenhouse gas-intensive materials in the effort to reduce vehicle weight and fuel consumption," said Cees ten Broek, director of WorldAutoSteel.  "However, this may have the unintended consequence of increasing greenhouse gas emissions during the vehicle's total life cycle."

The production of lighter vehicle materials, such as magnesium and carbon fiber, produces emissions that are 20 times greater than steel, according to WorldAutoSteel. Also, as more electric vehicles come on the scene, emissions regulations based purely on tailpipe output will be obsolete.

“Regulations that focus only on one part of the vehicle's life cycle will become immediately out of date as the electric vehicle becomes more prominent on the road," ten Broek said. "We are only shifting the problem to other vehicle life cycle phases."

WorldAutoSteel recently completed a study that featured steel designs that were significantly lighter and lower in emissions production compared to traditional designs. The organization said the study showed that steel could still be used to make lighter, cleaner vehicles. 

For more information on WorldAutoSteel, go to

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