'Lightweighting an important parameter from environment perspective:' IV Rao

IV Rao, the former engineering head of Maruti Suzuki said that weight reduction of vehicles was an important parameter from an environmental perspective. On the Day 2 of Autocar Professional’s lightweighting conference, he pointed out that the gross weight of the vehicle plays an important role in improving its efficiency.

By Radhika Dave calendar 24 May 2024 Views icon2403 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
'Lightweighting an important parameter from environment perspective:' IV Rao

IV Rao, the former engineering head of Maruti Suzuki said that weight reduction of vehicles was an important parameter from an environmental perspective. On the Day 2 of Autocar Professional’s lightweighting conference, he pointed out that the gross weight of the vehicle plays an important role in improving its efficiency. 

He pointed out that weight reduction is even more important in electric vehicles since the use of the battery adds to the vehicle weight. “It is very important to optimise all the parameters to get the best out of vehicle configurations," he noted.

Talking specifically about the Indian market, he said that customers here are very price sensitive and companies have to make vehicles and configure systems in a way that meets the price equation.

On being asked how Maruti Suzuki maanages lightweighting in a high volume, low cost mass market that it rules, he said whenever his firm works on a new product, one of the first things targeted is deciding the weight of the vehicle. Then it gets distributed to various systems and each system designer is given a target to develop something within that weight target.

Some of the basic strategies used by Suzuki which Maruti Suzuki also adopted include reducing the number of parts every time they came out with a new product and eliminating the fixing of various parts in favor of spot welding.

Taking the example of the three generations of Maruti Suzuki Swift, IV Rao noted that the first Swift was bigger in size and heavier. The next model was compact, weighed less and complied with safety standard requirements. The third generation Swift was the most compact, (in comparison with the other two), lighter in weight and had more cabin space. Elaborating on this example he said that vehicle lightweighting was a lot easier to do at the conception stage rather than doing it later on. “What is important is that the focus has to be there,” he noted. 

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