Light vehicles are made up of many different materials. The materials shown on the graph below are materials with substantial changes over the last ten years. The use of high and medium strength steel has increased from an average of 324 pounds per vehicle to 500 pounds per vehicle in 2006. The use of aluminum and plastics also increased by nearly 100 pounds during that same period while the use of stainless steel increased by only about 20 pounds. The use of iron castings has declined notably from 1995 to 2006 with the sharpest decline from 2000 to 2006.

Selected Material Content for Light Vehicles, 1995, 2000, and 2006


Supporting Information

Average Material Content of North American Light Vehicles, 1995, 2000, and 2006 (Pounds and Share of Total Vehicle Weight)
High and Medium Strength Steel3249%40810%50012%
Stainless Steel511%622%732%
Iron Castings46613%43211%3318%
Plastics and Plastic Composites2406%2867%3388%
Total Vehicle Weight3,694 3,902 4,044 

Source: American Chemistry Council.

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