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It's Baaaaaaack

The DOE has revived the ATVMP loan program and will hand out the first $259 million loan agreement to Alcoa to make aluminum for lighter, cleaner cars.

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Phinergy and Alcoa show off a modified Citroen C1 with two battery types

If the groups behind it are to be believed, this little electric vehicle could travel 1,000 miles on a single charge. Battery developer Phinergy and metal manufacturer Alcoa have teamed up to demonstrate their aluminum-air battery in a small electric vehicle at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, and our friends at Autoblog Québec were there to check it out.

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Aluminum is the new buzzword in the automotive industry. The latest Range Rover and Range Rover Sport both take advantage of the lightweight material to shave huge amounts of body fat (only it's called "aluminium" over there). Audi and Jaguar have been using the stuff for years in their A8 and XJ, respectively, and now, aluminum is going mainstream, arriving on the 2015 Ford F-150.

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According to a report in Bloomberg, the 2015 Ford F-150 will indeed be showing up at the Detroit Auto Show next month. It will bring attitude with it, not only in the form of sheetmetal inspired by the Atlas concept (pictured) that appeared at the 2013 Detroit show but also in the Alcoa military blast shields among the display being used to showcase the ruggedness of aluminum.

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The timetable for next-generation Ford F-150 may be in trouble if a report from The Truth About Cars is true. The next F-150 is slated to make extensive use of weight-saving aluminum in its body, but the aluminum alloy provided by suppliers hasn't met Ford's requirements in the earliest phases of pre-production, according to the report.

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As far as autoworker jobs go, putting together a Ferrari has got to be one of the plum gigs. The company is consistently rated as one of the best places to work in Europe, but if the pleasant atmosphere and long espresso breaks weren't enough, you get to go home at the end of the day knowing that you put together a Ferrari. Not a pickup truck, not an economy hatchback, but a Ferrari.

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Alcoa Defense has created a welded aluminum spaceframe for the U.S. Army's Fuel-Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrator (FED) that's claimed to reduce weight by up to ten percent and slash fuel consumption by six percent over comparably sized, steel-framed vehicles that see combat use. Of course, a lightweight military vehicle would be all but useless if it failed to offer protection to its occupants. To that end, Alcoa has supplied the FED's aluminum structure with integral underbody armor and an

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Heavy steel wheels are relatively rare in showrooms these days -- it seems they are heading the way of bias-ply tires. Most new cars are delivered with cast aluminum wheels. While cast wheels weigh less than comparative steel wheels, they are still manufactured with thick castings and solid spokes (forged aluminum wheels, both lighter and stronger, are generally more expensive and as such, fitted largely to performance vehicles).

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Click for a complete gallery of the Chevrolet Volt

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Bauxite residue is a mixture of minerals that are left behind when alumina is removed from bauxite. Although it is thoroughly washed, the residue retains some alkaline liquor and requires long-term storage. By mixing CO2 into the bauxite residue, its pH level is reduced to levels found naturally in alkaline soils. A second sustainability benefit is that the improved environmental properties of the residue mean it also can be beneficially used as road base, building materials or to improve soil.

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UPDATE: Live shots from SEMA show floor added after jump

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