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Listed below are all documents and RMI.org site pages related to this topic.
Transportation - Lightweighting 39 Items

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Autocomposites Commercialization Launchpad Kickoff Meeting: Post Meeting Report

Report or White Paper, 2013

• Manufacturing demonstration equipment and standard test rigs
 • A launchpad for competitive, application-specific commercialization projects • 
A clearing house for aligning academic, private, and government R&D with industry needs
 • A center for developing and proving out solutions to collective R&D challenges such as joining • A source for material data • Initial launchpad goals are to • Produce a commercialization 
timeline and plan for a specific high-volume automotive application • Identify means of addressing remaining technological and investment gaps to commercialization • Identify and assign initial team roles and responsibilities


Autocomposites Commercialization Launchpad Kickoff Meeting Pre-Read

Report or White Paper, 2013

Respondents were from across the supply chain: OEMs, Tier 1s, material suppliers, equipment and tooling suppliers, government, universities, national labs, and industry consultants. 18 of 21 respondents indicated they are “very interested” in a carbon fiber composite part commercialization effort Respondents were willing to contribute to the effort: 14 said they could support with in-kind equipment, material, or labor 3 said they could support with a direct financial contribution


Kickstarting the Widespread Adoption of Automotive Carbon Fiber Composites: Key Findings and Next Steps

Report or White Paper, 2013

This report details the results of RMI's 2012 Autocomposites Workshop. During the course of a three-day workshop, ~40 leading experts from across the automotive carbon fiber composite value chain, industry experts, and government representatives convened to develop approaches to break down the barriers that have stifled advancements in vehicle weight reduction made possible by widespread penetration of carbon fiber composite into mainstream vehicles. This report summarizes the key findings from the workshop.


The Atlantic Mann Rebuttal

Journal or Magazine Article, 2013

On April 24, 2013, The Atlantic ran a cover feature by writer Charles C. Mann, “What If We Never Run Out of Oil?” The piece contained a number of inaccuracies, to which Rocky Mountain Institute co-founder and chief scientist Amory B. Lovins responded in a rebuttal the magazine posted on May 13, 2013. One day later, Mann offered a counter of his own, but perpetuated a range of errors. In this definitive reply, Lovins sets the record straight.


A Farewell to Fossil Fuels: Answering the Energy Challenge

Journal or Magazine Article, 2012

In this article published in Foreign Affairs, Amory Lovins describes a U.S. transition from fossil fuels--a blueprint detailed in Reinventing Fire-- that requires pursuing three agendas. First, radical automotive efficiency can make electrification affordable and save fuel in heavy vehicles; and all vehicles can be used more productively. Second, new designs can make buildings and factories several times more efficient than they are now. Third, modernizing the electric system to make it diverse, distributed, and renewable can also make it clean, reliable and secure. Getting the U.S. off fossil fuels would transform its foreign policy, and turbocharge global development. He argues that we don't have to wait for congress to seize these opportunities.

This article is also available to read at Foreign Affairs.


Autocomposites Workshop Pre-Read

Report or White Paper, 2012

RMI is committed to reducing U.S. oil dependence and enhancing the competitive positioning of the U.S. automotive sector by catalyzing a shift to ultralight, ultrastrong autobodies made of advanced materials, particularly carbon fiber composites. Light autobodies dramatically improve fuel efficiency and allow powertrains to be smaller, lighter, more efficient, and more cost-effectively electrified. Understanding the barriers, developing consensus on the way forward, and spurring a transition through collaborative risk sharing, policy, and government support of research and development will be critical to success. This pre-read document prepared participants for the 2012 Autocomposites Workshop. It provides an overview of the autocomposites project, an overview of the carbon fiber industry, summary of major barriers to implementation, and possible solutions to overcome those challenges.


Reinventing Fire Transportation Sector Methodology

Report or White Paper, 2011

This document provides RMI's methodology for the analysis of the transportation sector in Reinventing Fire.


Ultralight Vehicles: Non-Linear Correlations Between Weight and Safety

Journal or Magazine Article, 2008
Development of dramatically lightweight and fuel-efficient vehicles has been slowed by perceptions that lighter vehicles are less safe. This conference paper describes RMI's virtually modeled ultralight concept vehicle that met NHTSA safety requirements, and shows how lightweighting the fleet can accelerate progress towards “Triple Safety”—protection from climate change, drivers themselves, and other road users.


Transformational Trucks: Determining the Energy Efficiency Limits of a Class-8 Tractor Trailer

Report or White Paper, 2008

Feasible technological improvements in vehicle efficiency, combined with “long combination vehicles” (which raise productivity by connecting multiple trailers), can potentially raise the ton-mile efficiency of long-haul heavy tractor-trailers by a factor ~2.5 with respect to a baseline of 130 ton-miles/gal. Within existing technological and logistical constraints, these innovations (which do not include such further opportunities as hybrid-electric powertrains or auxiliary power units to displace idling) could thus cut the average fuel used to move each ton of freight by ~64 percent. This would annually save the current U.S. Class 8 fleet about four billion gallons of diesel fuel and 45 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. Further benefits would include lower shipping costs, bigger profits for trucking companies, fewer tractor-trailers on the road, and fewer fatal accidents involving them. Thus transformational, not incremental, redesign of tractors, trailers, and (especially) both as in integrated system can broadly benefit economic prosperity, public health, energy security, and environmental quality.


Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles and Environmentally Beneficial Load Building: Implications on California’s Revenue Adjustment Mechanism

Report or White Paper, 2008

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are poised to allow, for the first time, large-scale interaction between the transportation and electric utility sectors. Electricity is a more efficient vehicle fuel than are liquid fossil fuels, and it can reduce system-wide greenhouse-gas emissions by transferring energy demand and emissions from the transportation to the electric utility sector. Furthermore, PHEVs represent a new type of load for electric utilities that can ultimately result in increased utilization of renewable generation. Since PHEVs would be charged primarily at night when California’s wind resource is strong, PHEVs could further offset emissions by using power with a lower GHG emissions intensity than California’s average electricity mix. However, although PHEVs offer a way for reducing system-wide GHG emissions, mitigating utility rates, and possibly increasing revenues, these benefits cannot be fully realized under California’s existing regulatory structure. As the market penetration of PHEVs rises, so do electricity demand and GHG emissions from the electric utility sector. These trends conflict with regulatory requirements that require significant reductions in statewide GHG emissions and are designed to encourage energy efficiency. This tension creates an interesting problem for the electric utilities: what is the best way to reconcile the increase in electricity demand and subsequent increase in power-sector GHG emissions due to PHEV penetration in the utility sector under California’s regulatory structure? Here, we explore this issue and suggest policy and regulatory alternatives that the State could pursue to encourage electric utilities to invest in both end-use efficiency and PHEVs.


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