A study commissioned by the Aluminum Association and conducted by FEV North America, concludes that aluminum offers significant cost savings to automakers as net-zero priorities drive vehicle development, particularly in high volume programs. The study includes an analysis of three vehicle segments—city vehicle, family crossover and pickup truck—and finds aluminum is an economically attractive mass reduction tool to improve performance and efficiency in BEVs.
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. 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.—Blake Zuidema, director of technical development for Novelis and Aluminum Transportation Group (ATG) technical committee chair
This new study—Aluminum Value in Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)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 finds 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.