Affordable Vehicle Lightweighting



ALLIANCE is a Horizon2020 project which seeks to address the increasing need for fuel/energy efficiency in both conventional and electric vehicles though effective and affordable lightweighting methodologies.
The main objectives of the ALLIANCE are to enable to reduction of energy consumption by 10% and GWP by 6%, compared to a conventional vehicle.

Ricardo is updating its Vehicle Mass Manager tool with new capability to meet these targets.


Ricardo’s Vehicle Mass Manager software tool has undergone enhancement and improvement within the Alliance project. A new “Use Case Database” has been added, enabling lightweighting technologies to be stored/saved within Mass Manager.

The database contains the lightweighting technologies as developed by the Alliance project partners as well as technologies from other projects. The user is able to apply these technologies to a complete vehicle and assess the mass, cost, GWP and performance impact.

Additionally, a scalability function is provided, enabling a single lightweighting technology and its parameters to be scaled from its native/parent vehicle to another vehicle (size). The scaling is based on a statistical trendline which is obtained from a data sample of other reference benchmark vehicle data.

A transferability function has also been developed, enabling the mass reduction, cost and GWP parameters from one “source” lightweight part to be transferred to another “target/candidate” part, again based on a statistical function derived from component benchmark data.

Customer Benefit

Vehicle mass reduction is a proven method to achieve vehicle efficiency improvement and reduce CO2 and emissions. Engineers are faced with numerous complexities when undertaking mass reduction of a passenger car vehicle, namely; vehicles typically have 3000 to 7000 parts or modules each and overall vehicle mass reduction is achieved by reducing the weight of a number of components, therefore the engineer is challenged to identify the most appropriate components that are suitable for mass reduction.

There are numerous solutions, approaches and technologies available to engineers to reduce the weight of vehicle components and modules with each solution having different potential cost, Global Warming Potential (GWP) and performance effects.  The lightweighting solutions are often demonstrated or are in production on a single vehicle type/segment, therefore additional efforts are required to envisage and realise the effect of the solution on another (larger or smaller) vehicle type or segment.

Ricardo’s Mass Manager tool and the enhancements incorporated as a result of the Alliance project enable engineers to achieve complete vehicle mass reductions in a much quicker timeframe and more robustly than conventional methods.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 723893