Steel Industry Calls for Shift in Vehicle Regulations

DETROIT, October 13, 2011 – WorldAutoSteel, the automotive group of the World Steel Association, with support from investor companies of the Steel Market Development Institute, today stressed the need to shift the basis of vehicle emissions regulations from tailpipe emissions to a total life cycle assessment (LCA). LCA considers emissions from all aspects of a vehicle’s life including material and vehicle production, driving, and end-of-life-recycling and should become a factor in vehicle emissions regulations around the world, according to WorldAutoSteel.

“When vehicle emissions assessments are focused solely on the emissions produced during the driving phase (tailpipe), it encourages the use of greenhouse gas-intensive materials in the effort to reduce vehicle weight and fuel consumption,” Cees ten Broek, director, WorldAutoSteel, said. “However, this may have the unintended consequence of increasing greenhouse gas emissions during the vehicle’s total life cycle.”

Alternative materials, such as aluminum, magnesium and carbon fiber produce emissions during their manufacture that are five to 20 times greater than steel.

The United States is currently examining fuel economy and emissions requirements for 2017-2025, while the mid-term review of EU legislation on emission standards for new cars is expected next year and, in many Asia Pacific countries, vehicle efficiency standards also are being assessed. In light of these developments, the industry is calling for a shift from tailpipe emissions regulations to a LCA approach that effectively measures the carbon footprint of current and future cars.

 “Regulations that focus only on one part of the vehicle’s life cycle will become immediately out of date as the electric vehicle becomes more prominent on the road,” said ten Broek. “We are only shifting the problem to other vehicle life cycle phases.”

WorldAutoSteel recently released results of a global steel industry initiative, the FutureSteelVehicle (FSV), which features fully engineered steel body structure designs for electrified vehicles that reduce total life cycle emissions by nearly 70 percent and vehicle weight by 35 percent compared to a benchmark. FSV demonstrates that low life cycle emission vehicles are not only possible with steel, but more probable.

The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute, grows and maintains the use of steel through strategies that promote cost-effective solutions in the automotive, construction and container markets, as well as for new-growth opportunities in emerging steel markets. For more news or information, visit

WorldAutoSteel, the automotive group of the World Steel Association, is comprised of 17 major global steel producers from around the world. WorldAutoSteel’s mission is to advance and communicate steel’s unique ability to meet the automotive industry’s needs and challenges in a sustainable and environmentally responsible way. WorldAutoSteel is committed to a low carbon future, the principles of which are embedded in our continuous research, manufacturing processes, and ultimately, in the advancement of automotive steel products, for the benefit of society and future generations. To learn more about WorldAutoSteel and its projects, visit

# # #

Deanna Lorincz
Senior Director, Communications
Steel Market Development Institute
Tel: 248.945.4763