Spotlight on Aluminum’s role in Electric Vehicles

Posted by Global technology interface on December 07, 2020


A faster paced energy transition through a speedier shift to electric vehicles has created a new, substantial demand stream for aluminum and major opportunities for auto supply chain firms flying under investors’ radar. It’s been a long incubation period, but electric vehicles are swinging the pendulum. Aluminum is a higher performing material than steel.”Aluminum weighs about one-third of steel per cubic foot, enabling “light weighting” of electric vehicles and superior performance in terms of the distance travelled before batteries need to be recharged. EV cars cost more than 2 times than traditional vehicles  and it will change when we bring more efficient cars with minimal maintenance mainly because of the cost of batteries. It is therefore important to make electric cars as energy efficient as possible. Light weighting is one of the most effective options to improve the energy efficiency of any vehicle, including electric ones. Light weighting comes at higher cost  than steel, as the material used is often slightly more expensive than heavier classical materials

“Aluminium better protects passengers and the structure of the car in a crash situation, the Crash Management System absorbs the energy created,” said Paul Warton, president of Constellium’s Automotive Structures and Industry Business.

 

Previously shunned in favor of cheaper steel, aluminium consumption in electric vehicles is expected to accelerate over coming years and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7% as COVID-19 hastens the move to a green economic recovery.Significantly lighter than steel, aluminium is now the metal of choice in a range of parts – from the chassis, structural components such as the shock tower and internal panels to housing for motors and the batteries that power electric cars.”The electric vehicle segment is the bright spot in the automotive segment, currently 20% of sales volume is going to e-mobility and the tendency is increasing,” said EgilHogna, head of Extruded Solutions at NorskHydro. Hydro delivers more than 350,000 tonnes of aluminium products to the auto industry every year, with rough estimates showing around 15% of that going to electric vehicles.

 

The growth of aluminium in the EV sector is booming as the traditional steel has its own disadvantages and won’t be that efficient compared to aluminium. In order to achieve more efficient cars, the Indian car manufacturers are keen to build the body and chassis almost entirely from aluminium, which will reduce the weight of the car and improve the speed of the vehicle. Aluminium demand in EVs will be compounded by growing demand in ICVs in general. We can expect a growth CAGR 7.5 % in especially for the EV sectors.

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