DETROIT — One of the world's largest aluminum suppliers says it can offer automakers fuel-saving technology and lower emissions by reinventing the wheel.
Alcoa Wheel & Transportation Products says it modified a 17-inch forged aluminum wheel designed by General Motors for the Chevy Volt — and cut the weight by more than 30 percent.
That's just the beginning, says Joel Alent, marketing manager for Alcoa's Automotive Center in suburban Detroit. New aluminum alloys for wheels are on the way, he says.
Alcoa's sales effort aims to show auto industry executives that they can save money and fuel and reduce emissions with what Alcoa says is simple bolt-on technology.
Alent wouldn't say how much GM can expect to save with the wheels Alcoa will build for the Volt. The plug-in hybrid is scheduled to debut late next year.