European auto industry to use more aluminum to lower CO2 emissions image

The automakers will use more lightweight materials to build their cars in Europe in order to meet the tougher emissions limits, a senior metals industry official told Reuters.

The automotive industry is in a continuous struggle to keep their cars within the regulatory limits regarding CO2 emissions levels. The automakers are spending massive amounts of money on researching on how to squeeze more output from their fuel-powered engines and, at the same time, to make them friendlier to the environment. And lightweight is part of the answer. Global targets to curb greenhouse gases are said to force companies to shift their focus from steel to a lighter material such as recyclable aluminum. The use of the latter is expected to rise to 180 kg per car on average from 140 kg in 2012, said Gerd Gotz, director general of industry body European Aluminum, citing a new study confirming forecasts it made in 2012. “This will be the growth engine of the aluminum downstream industry,” he told Reuters.

The automakers are already using aluminum for their upper-class heavier models, but the circumstances will push them to implement it in the smaller and mainstream models as well. “The cars will not land in a landfill anymore and you will be able to re-use the aluminum again and again,” he said. Under 2015 European Commission mandatory targets, the emissions limit for cars is at 130 grams of CO2 per kilometer on average, while fleet average is supposed to drop to 95 grams per km by 2021, with emission caps based on the mass of the vehicle.

Via Reuters