A hypersonic shift to electric vehicles is developing a new need for aluminum and other components that make up the EVs. Initially, cheap steel fit in the place where aluminum would have done better. Currently, aluminum is shifting dynamics quickly, even as the demand for electric vehicles rises. Another booster for this concept is the coronavirus pandemic, which accelerates the transition to a green energy economy.
Aluminum is proving to be the best fit as a replacement for steel in electric cars. For instance, the chassis, body, and essential metallic parts like the motor and battery can substitutable with aluminum as the metal component.
Aluminum manufacturers like Rusal, Glencore, and Rio Tinto, who have access to vast deposits of the metal, will be at an advantage of this EV production modification proceeds. Other car component makers that will hugely benefit in this move are France’s Constellium, Canada’s Linamar, and Mexico’s Nemak.
One of the mega benefactors in this car concept is Norsk Hydro, which purifies aluminum and other automotive parts. Egli Hogna, the chief of Extruded Solutions at Norsk Hydro, states that the EV industry is picking up quite quickly in the auto industry, with 20% of their sales focusing on e-mobility. He reiterates that the EV industry growth will facilitate the transition to renewable energy.
Norsk Hydro supplies over 350000 tonnes of aluminum products to the automotive sector annually, research shows that 15% of this quantity finds its way into electric vehicles. Many of the EV buyers are in Europe and China. These regions have shown interest in transitioning to EVs with governments offering incentives and subsidies to facilitate the switch.
While aluminum is finding its way into the EV industry, steel is slowly thinning out. Steel firms like Nippon Steel, ArcelorMittal, Posco, Nucor, and Tata Steel will lose their value in this industry unless they modify their steel to meet the EV industry’s demands. Although aluminum is readily available, its cost is three times that of steel. Nonetheless, the EV industry is counting on the economies of scale in production to topple the price and generate profits.
Electric vehicles are shifting focus to aluminum, considering its versatile nature. For instance, aluminum has a low density than steel, making it a lighter metal to replace the metallic components of an EV. This move will help increase the mileage range of the electric vehicle since density resists the accelerating torque of the car.
Finally, Constellium’s Automotive Structures and Industry Business president Paul Warton explains that aluminum cushions passengers and the car’s design in a car crash circumstance since the Crash Management System composes of aluminum. Aluminum, in this case, acts as an endothermic system for the energy imparted in the crash.