Vedanta Aluminium, India’s largest producer of aluminium, recently made a case for ‘green’ aluminium at the recently held national webinar by Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA) of India.
ACMA's event, themed on ‘Lightweighting with Aluminium and Sustainability’ witnessed participation of top executives from key players in the auto, auto components and aluminium industry. Nikhil Bhagchandani, Deputy Director – Marketing, Vedanta Aluminium, who was the keynote speaker, highlighted the importance of ‘green’ aluminium or aluminium with low carbon footprint in bolstering the endeavours of automakers to decarbonise their products.
The company is the first in India to launch low carbon aluminium, branded ‘Restora’, targeted at users looking to source raw materials responsibly for creating a green value chain. Restora is claimed to have a carbon footprint that is nearly half the global threshold for aluminium to be considered as low carbon. Vedanta’s second green product, Restora Ultra, has an even lower carbon footprint, that is near-zero and is amongst the lowest in the world.
Aluminium is currently the second most used metal in vehicles and the fastest growing, which is an indication of the metal’s growing prominence in automobile manufacturing. With evolving consumer consciousness towards sustainability and tightening of emission norms, there has been a significant increase in aluminium usage in vehicles, be it battery electric vehicles (BEVs), hybrids or internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.
Aluminium has some unique properties which lend themselves very well to the auto industry:
- Owing to its high strength-to-weight ratio, more aluminium in vehicles makes them significantly lighter, faster, easier to manoeuvre and high on performance.
- Lightweighting of vehicles also reduces their fuel consumption, thereby helping with cost savings and reducing carbon footprint.
- In EVs, increase in aluminium usage in the vehicle extends its driving range by offsetting battery weight, thereby reducing cost of ownership, even with addition of more safety features.
- Aluminium continues to drive vehicle safety as well, since pound for pound, aluminium can absorb twice the crash energy of mild steel.
- Highly malleable and ductile, aluminium also gives automakers exceptional design flexibility, across a wide range of applications – from car frames to engines, battery casings, doors & windows, wheels, and many other smaller components in between.
- Aluminium’s natural resistance to corrosion gives vehicles a longer life and reduces the need for frequent maintenance, again reducing cost of ownership.
- Nearly 90% of all the aluminium used in a vehicle can be recycled at the end of its lifecycle, increasing the vehicle’s salvage value.
Vedanta is bullish on the Indian automotive industry, which is gradually adopting the advantages of aluminium, to increase its usage of the light metal.
Speaking on the opportunities of indigenous development and localised sourcing of auto components and parts, Rahul Sharma, CEO – Vedanta Aluminium, says, “The national vision for self-reliance calls for increased focus on localising sourcing of raw materials, parts and components by the Indian automotive industry. At Vedanta Aluminium, we offer our customers 360-degree holistic solutions to meet their evolving business needs, such as catering to their need for decarbonization with ‘Restora’, our low carbon aluminium brand. We are further keen to co-create innovative product solutions for new and emerging applications of aluminium in the automotive industry, and together with them shape the future of mobility.”
Ramachandra Rao, Chairman – ACMA CFT on Raw Materials, & Executive Chairman – Indo Schottle Auto Parts, said, “Aluminium is a critical raw material for the auto industry, as is evidenced by the metal’s increasing usage globally in automotive applications. As the Indian auto industry increasingly localises sourcing of raw materials, domestic aluminium manufacturers like Vedanta Aluminium can be ideal partners for automakers. Whether it is lightweighting, environmentally-friendly products or new alloys, such partnerships can shape the future of our auto industry.”
Vedanta Aluminium currently produces high-end alloys like Primary Foundry Alloy and Cylinder-head Alloy, which address automakers’ most pressing needs for cost, quality, safety and sustainability, with light weighting. Notably, both alloys were entirely being imported into India until Vedanta started supplying them indigenously. As applications of aluminium in vehicles continues to rise, Vedanta says it is rapidly expanding its value-added product portfolio for the auto industry. The company has one of the largest product ranges in aluminium, including billets, ingots, wire rods, rolled products and slabs.