Recycling is good for the planet. It can also be good for your wallet, at least when you lug in a bunch of cans to the recycling center — or, if you’re in the manufacturing business, when you want to recycle materials. That’s what Ford did when they started putting together the 2015 F-150, and their recycling processes actually shaved about 20% off of the final aluminum materials cost. From Car & Driver:
When Ford announced earlier this year that its new F-150 would employ aluminum for the majority of it’s construction, speculation that insurance, repair, and manufacturing costs would increase began to circulate almost immediately.
We investigated the first two concerns at the time, finding them to be less disconcerting than originally expected, and, judging by the majority of comments from our Backfires members, the enthusiast community agrees with us. But to be fair, it will be at least a year after the aluminum F-150 goes on sale before enough real-world data enters the information stream to completely understand the cost implications. Now, according to an article in Automotive News, Ford has found a way to improve efficiency on the manufacturing side via innovative recycling methods, saving the maker $124 per pickup truck as compared to traditional recycling methods, and cutting the per-truck cost of switching to aluminum to $750.
In short, the scrap from manufacturing gets recycled into usable aluminum for further manufacturing. It’s that type of innovation that is pushing the F-150 to the spotlight for both auto industry watchers and environmental pundits.