Materials that can be used to make vehicles lighter

As part of the net zero initiative, companies are beginning to use various materials in place of steel. It is the only way forward if we want to start looking after our planet in a better way. But which materials can be used in this initiative?


Did you know that using aluminium can make a vehicle 40% lighter compared to using steel? Previously, aluminium was used on luxury vehicles, but is slowly being introduced to more affordable ones and because of this, fuel economy is being boosted. However, despite the economic benefits of using aluminium on cars, the repair costs will dramatically increase due to the type of material being used.

High strength steels

High-strength steels are another option for automotive manufacturers. It is a lighter type of steel that is easy to incorporate into designing and building vehicles. Using this type of material, though, requires stronger tools, increasing the cost.


Magnesium, the lightest structural material, is another option for automotive manufacturers. Magnesium is 35% lighter than aluminium, making car parts up to 75% lighter than usual.


As well as being lightweight, Titanium is resistant to corrosion; bullet-proof some would say. Usually, Titanium is used in internal combustion engine components due to how expensive the material is, however, the industry is working hard to find cheaper methods of using it.


Composite materials are likely to reduce the weight of a vehicle between 20% and 50%, and many traditional metals are being replaced by them. Two examples of composite materials are carbon fibre and fibreglass.

Carbon fibre is lighter (resulting in automotive material being 60% lighter) than steel, yet ten times stronger; it’s a no-brainer that composites should be used as much as possible.

Fibreglass has been used a lot in manufacturing sports cars and isn’t too expensive to use, however, manual labour is what makes using this material more expensive as it takes more time to use.

UK net zero target

By 2050 the government plans to reach its net zero target with regards to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. According to the government’s Net Zero Strategy “Since 1990 the UK has reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 44%, while growing our economy by over 75%.” (HM Government, pg, 16)

With this in mind, it is imperative that the CNC Machining industry does all that it can to ensure that it is contributing towards this goal.

Sustainable manufacturing

By implementing sustainable manufacturing strategies a company will minimise the negative impact it has on the environment. The premise of sustainable manufacturing is that a company still makes enough revenue to be successful, but the environment doesn’t suffer because of this.

The same can be done within the automotive industry by using specific materials that are sustainable, resulting in vehicles that are lighter in weight and more economical.

How can automotive manufacturers make lighter cars?

With the use of CNC machining, your automotive company can manufacture lighter cars in a shorter amount of time. You will be saving money, as well as time with Ward CNC’s machines. 

Get in touch with us today for more information!

Why should we embark on sustainable manufacturing?

We can all agree that implementing a more sustainable and ethical way of living is the best way forward and the same can be said for the automotive industry and with CNC machining.

CNC machines are designed to make the manufacturing process more efficient and reduces energy consumption. Other benefits of using CNC machining for sustainability purposes are that communication is electronic which eliminates the need for paper usage and reduces material wastage by eliminating human error.

Allow Ward CNC to guide you on this journey of incorporating more sustainable practices in your manufacturing. Get in contact with us today!



Alex is the co-author of 100 Greatest Plays, 100 Greatest Cricketers, 100 Greatest Films and 100 Greatest Moments. He has written for a wide variety of publications including The Observer, The Sunday Times, The Daily Mail, The Guardian and The Telegraph.

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