TROY, MI—Recipients of the 9th annual Altair Enlighten Award include several applications related to electric vehicles. Presented in partnership with the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), the award recognizes the automotive industry’s most impressive sustainable engineering initiatives, focusing on lightweighting and the use of innovative materials, technologies and techniques to cut CO2 emissions.
“Lightweighting is central to the quest for greater fuel economy and electrification, which in turn is vital to the future of the whole sector,” says Carla Bailo, president and CEO of CAR.
Electric vehicle applications honored for their lightweighting efforts include:
  • Ford Motor Co.—2021 Mustang Mach-E. “The all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E emits zero CO2 while driving, and its sustainable credentials are further supported by a 100 percent vegan interior that eliminates the use of animal products,” explains Bailo.
  • Dura Automotive Systems—Modular EV Battery Tray. “A modular and scalable design that can be tailored to multiple platforms and vehicles of all types and sizes, the Dura modular EV battery tray delivers a 10 percent weight savings over the surrogate design and a reduction in CO2 emissions of 3.8 tons over the program life,” Bailo points out.
  • American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM)—Electric Drive Unit (eDU). “AAM’s eDU saves more than 25 percent in mass compared to similar units on the market,” notes Bailo. “Integrating the electric motor, gearbox and inverter in a compact package, it also demonstrates a higher power-to-weight ratio than competitor products.”
“AAM is committed to advancing lightweighting and sustainability objectives in all of our product, process and systems technologies,” adds David Dauch, chairman and CEO of AAM. “We are honored to receive the Altair Enlighten Award for an innovation that is so important to the future of AAM and the global automotive industry.”
“The next-generation eDU…delivers significant weight reduction when compared to other similar units, without sacrificing any power or performance,” claims Dauch. “[It] is compact and scalable for use in any global vehicle segment, from the smallest microcar to the largest SUV or pickup truck application.”
“[Our] engineering team is innovative, creative and laser focused on developing superior electric drive technology,” says Dauch. “Our newest system is significantly lighter than the competition, but still provides unparalleled performance and power. We are very excited about the opportunity we have to help our customers improve the efficiency and appeal of their electric vehicles with this ground-breaking technology.”