Aluminium industry: "All low carbon mobility roads lead to lightweighting"

Date

27 Apr 2017

Sections

Energy
Transport
Climate & Environment

Press release

Brussels, 27 April 2017 - With more than 250 participants and speakers from EU institutions, industry and academia, European Aluminium’s event Driving mobility to a low carbon future explored lightweighting’s potential to reduce CO2 emissions in transport. The industry unveiled new evidence and positioned itself as a leading voice to abandon the mass-based system.

How can the transport sector reach future CO2 targets in the most cost efficient manner? A simple question that triggered the attention of the entire city and key decision makers such as MEP Adina-Valean, high level Commission officials, industry representatives, academia and NGOs. All shared their views on the future reform of CO2 for cars and vans expected by the end of the year. European Aluminium led the debate with some important remarks by its top representatives.   

“The aluminium industry is a strong supporter of the transition to low carbon mobility. As a lightweight material, using aluminium in vehicles both reduces CO2 emissions and improves fuel efficiency,” stated Kjetil Ebbesberg, Chair of European Aluminium and Executive Vice President of Rolled Products at Hydro. “Demand for aluminium in the automotive market – already growing for several decades – is projected to further increase in the coming years. Clearly aluminium’s unique properties as strong, light and fully recyclable are not just appreciated but demanded.”

The aluminium content in cars is forecast to increase by up to 30% over the next ten years, increasing from 150 kg today to 200 kg in 2025, provided lightweighting is better encouraged in future regulations. Today, the average European car weighs 1400 kg. When replacing mild steel, 200 kg of aluminium in a car can make the car 200 kg lighter, thereby reducing CO2 emissions by up to 16 grams per kilometre. Taking into account that on average car manufacturers in Europe have to move from around 120 g/km to 95 g/km by 2021, increasing the aluminium content in cars could play a significant role in helping car manufacturers reach their target.

Mr Ebbesberg continued, “Policymakers must remember that lightweighting is also a strategic priority for the European car industry. The aluminium industry has invested more than € 1.1 bn in auto body sheet over the last decade. If European legislation does not encourage innovation also on the material side, European manufacturers risk losing their competitive advantage on lightweight materials.”

Gerd Götz, Director General of European Aluminium added, “All low carbon mobility roads lead to lightweighting. Lightweighting solutions are integral to limiting CO2 emissions from vehicles and reaching future EU targets. Currently the situation in the EU is paradoxical: heavier cars are allowed to emit more CO2 emissions than lighter cars. We expect the new regulation to remain technology-neutral. In practice, this means abandoning the mass-based approach. Car manufacturers should be free to choose the most cost efficient solutions to attain their CO2 reduction objective.”

In addition to the debate, today’s event gave participants an opportunity to experience lightweight aluminium solutions first-hand. From electric motorbikes to virtual reality cars to bikes made from recycled beverage cans, the interactive Aluminium Playground brought the future of mobility to life.
 

  • See pictures from European Aluminium’s event, Driving mobility to a low carbon future

Read the Executive summary of the Study on Energy savings by lightweighting from the Institut für Energie – und Umweltforschung Heidelberg (IFEU)

For further information, please contact:
Ani Deal /communications@european-aluminium.eu / +32 4 71 93 02 72
 

About European Aluminium

European Aluminium, founded in 1981 and based in Brussels, is the voice of the aluminium industry in Europe. We actively engage with decision makers and the wider stakeholder community to promote the outstanding properties of aluminium, secure growth and optimise the contribution our metal can make to meeting Europe’s sustainability challenges. Our 80+ members include primary aluminium producers; downstream manufacturers of extruded, rolled and cast aluminium; producers of recycled aluminium and national aluminium associations are representing more than 600 plants in 30 European countries. Aluminium products are used in a wide range of markets, including automotive, transport, high-tech engineering, building, construction and packaging.

 

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