Ford cars, trucks to lose 250 to 750 pounds by 2020

Ford Motor Co has announced plans for making all its cars and trucks 250 to 750 pounds lighter by 2020, according to USA Today.

A lighter car is more energy efficient and automakers expect it would become increasingly important to consumers with rising oil prices and fuel economy standards Reuters reported.

The news agency reported that the Obama administration wanted car companies to increase the average fuel efficiency of their cars and trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon by the 2025 model year.

According to Paul Mascarenas, Ford's chief technical officer, reducing weight would benefit the efficiency of every Ford vehicle. However, it was especially critical to improving the range of plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles.

To make it lighter, Ford has cut the size of its engines, and also use lighter materials, according to USA Today. A new material that is said to hold much promise is carbon fibre, which is 10 times stronger than regular grade steel but a quarter of the weight, Reuters reported.

The newspaper also reported that Ford had launched a partnership with Dow Chemical to develop a cheaper way to source carbon fibre and manufacture carbon fibre components.