Nissan launches lightweight aluminum technology in Europe on new Qashqai; 2nd global model with parts from closed-loop recycling
The all-new Qashqai will be Nissan’s first model built in Europe using a significant number of lightweight aluminum panels.
The hood, doors and front fenders are stamped from aluminum alloy, which makes the body of the Qashqai 60 kg lighter. This improves efficiency and thereby contributes to reduced emissions. In addition, it helps accommodate more technology, including the vehicle’s electrified powertrain.
The new Qashqai follows the new Rogue sold in North America as the second global model for Nissan to feature aluminum parts produced with the closed-loop recycling process. Nissan is considering expanding the application of this process to future models and other factories.
Aluminum production at Nissan’s Sunderland plant includes the second extra large press line that was launched last year and the cyclone—a recycling facility that blasts out scrap metal at 150 km an hour and can handle more than seven tons of metal an hour, ensuring less waste and a greener production process.
As hoods and doors are stamped into shape, scrap material is shredded and extracted, keeping aluminum grades separate. The separation ensures that Nissan can return high-quality scrap to suppliers for them to turn into aluminum alloy sheets.
This closed-loop recycling system reduces waste and CO2 emissions. This contributes to the goal Nissan has set itself of achieving carbon neutrality across the company’s operations and the life cycle of its products by 2050.
Recycling scrap aluminum saves more than 90% of the energy needed to create a comparable amount from raw materials, Nissan said.
Under the Nissan Green Program 2022, Nissan aims to replace 30% of the raw materials used in cars built in 2022 with materials that don’t rely on newly mined resources. To achieve this, the company will use recycled materials and develop biomaterials, carry out recycling activities both at suppliers and in-house, and seek to reduce the weight of car bodies.