Mercedes-Benz to Buy Low-Carbon Aluminum from Norway’s Hydro

Norway’s Norsk Hydro and Mercedes-Benz announced that the German automaker would buy low-carbon aluminum from the Norwegian company for a range of models from 2023, including its electric models. The supply agreement is part of Mercedes’ efforts to decarbonize its supply chain. The German automotive giant, which is already using Hydro’s components in its vehicles, has previously announced its targets to reach near-zero carbon aluminum and halve its carbon emissions by the end of 2030. It aims to become carbon neutral by 2039.

Electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers are looking for ways to use more aluminum in their cars to make them lighter and increase mileage. The EV batteries themselves use the metal as well.

“This is an important signal to accelerate change in the aluminum industry and increase the availability of low carbon aluminum,” Mercedes-Benz’s CTO Schäfer said in a statement.

The automaker said a fully electric luxury Mercedes-Benz limousine, including the battery, can contain more than 700 kilograms of aluminum.

The two firms will also collaborate on further research on how low-carbon and recycled aluminum can be used in vehicles.

Hydro expects its new low-carbon product will have a carbon footprint of below 3.0 kilograms of CO2 per kilogram of aluminum produced, one kilogram less than its current low-carbon standard for primary metal.

The global average in 2021 was 16.7 kilograms of CO2 per 1.0 kilogram aluminum.

“This is a pretty big milestone. Last year we said we would produce 3.0 before 2025 and now we will do it already in 2023 – not only produce it but also sell it to one of the most demanding customers.” Hydro’s head of Aluminum Metal business Kallevik said.

The process involves Hydro using scrap sourced in the market at one of the primary plants in Norway and recycle it for use in Mercedes-Benz cars.

“It’s really about understanding which type of scrap we can use, as the material has to comply with primary metal standards,” Kallevik said.

He has not disclosed the amount Hydro expected to sell to Mercedes as a result of the deal.

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