Mercedes-Benz has signed a letter of intent with Norwegian aluminum producer Hydro to significantly reduce the CO₂ footprint of aluminum in the automotive supply chain.
A fully electric Mercedes luxury car can contain up to 700 kg of aluminum. From 2023, this metal delivered by the Norwegians for the German carmaker’s electric lineup will already have a 70% lower footprint. By 2030 this has to be zero.
According to the Reuters press agency, Hydro’s low-carbon product, Reduxa 3.0, will have a carbon footprint of below 3.0 kilograms of CO2 per kg of aluminum produced.
Quite an achievement
That’s one kilogram less than Hydro’s current low-carbon standard for primary metal and much less than the global average of 16.7 kilograms of CO2 per kg of aluminum in 2021.
That’s quite an achievement, as the deadline was met two years earlier than planned, says Eivind Kallevik, head of Hydro’s Aluminium Metal division.
Using recycled scrap
To meet the standards, Hydro started with CO₂-optimised aluminum oxide production and reduced the CO₂ emissions resulting from the electrolysis process. Additionally, the Norwegians use scrap to be recycled. Both companies agreed to invest in further research in the field of recycling aluminum.
“Aluminium is becoming increasingly important as a lightweight material in electric vehicles,” says Markus Schäfer, Chief Technology Officer, Development & Procurement at Mercedes-Benz. “This is an important signal to accelerate change in the aluminum industry and increase the availability of low-carbon aluminum.”