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New Research Highlights Aluminum Mass Reduction Dynamics in Battery Electric Vehicles

Among three vehicle segments studied, analysis finds vehicle cost decreases as aluminum share initially increases

New research commissioned by the Aluminum Association confirms aluminum will continue to be a key player in the electric era as an economically attractive mass reduction tool improving performance and efficiency in battery electric vehicles (BEVs). The study, conducted by Auburn Hills-based FEV North America, concludes aluminum offers significant cost savings to automakers as net zero priorities drive vehicle development, particularly in high volume programs.

“Aluminum is the fastest growing automotive material, and as the industry makes a seismic shift to electrification, decisionmakers need a clear view of how aluminum’s role evolves alongside this transition,” said Blake Zuidema, director of technical development for Novelis and Aluminum Transportation Group (ATG) technical committee chair. “The new data quantifies and reaffirms that as battery electric vehicles become more widely available reducing mass through the application of aluminum, at optimized levels, offers significant net cost savings.”

This study comes on the heels of the aluminum industry’s release of the 2022 Roadmap for Automotive Aluminum and serves as a decision-making tool for vehicle manufacturers seeking to create value in a rapidly evolving market while advancing sustainability.

The study also concludes BEVs contain greater aluminum content than their internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts with larger, more performance oriented BEVs containing the largest percentage of aluminum compared to smaller models. Additional conclusions from the study include:

  • Despite expected improvements in battery cost and storage density, aluminum light weighting solutions are expected to remain economically attractive for at least the next decade.
  • Light weighting battery electric vehicles with aluminum provides additional economic benefits when the entire sales fleet is considered, creating additional economic benefit and further increasing the economic viability of aluminum light weighting.

The ATG will build off this study to inform future research on aluminum’s ever evolving role in vehicles on the market today and under development. Greater aluminum use ensures consumers can choose high performing cars and trucks that are safe, fun to drive and better for the environment.

View and download the full study on DriveAluminum’s Resources page. For the latest automotive aluminum news, follow the ATG on Twitter: @DriveAluminum.

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