Alcoa Corporation said it was supplying sustainable aluminium for the wheels on the Audi e-tron GT, said to be the first vehicle to use metal from a revolutionary technology that eliminates all direct carbon dioxide emissions from the traditional smelting process.
Alcoa is supplying aluminium to Ronal Group for the manufacture of the high-performance alloy wheels, produced with a combination of metal from the Elysis zero-carbon emissions smelting technology and EcoLum, Alcoa's low-carbon aluminium brand.
Alcoa invented the zero-carbon emissions technology that Elysis, a joint venture company co-founded by Alcoa, is working to ramp up to a commercial scale. The process emits pure oxygen as a byproduct and eliminates all greenhouse gas emissions by replacing the carbon anodes used in traditional aluminium smelting with inert, proprietary materials.
The wheels are weight optimized with Ronal's flow forming technology and other innovations that improve overall aerodynamics. They are produced using 100% green electricity in Landau, Germany.
The wheels also include Alcoa's low-carbon EcoLum metal, which is produced with less than four tonnes of CO2 for every ton of metal produced, including both direct and indirect emissions across the entire production chain, including bauxite mining and alumina refining.
Marco Philippi, Audi head of procurement strategy, said: "Aluminium is the focus of our CO2 program because producing this material requires a high energy input. We are therefore actively searching for innovative processes that help reduce CO2 emissions as early as possible in the creation process. The process created by ELYSIS is promising because it already takes effect in the raw material processing phase. These kinds of innovations allow us to increase our sustainability performance in the supply chain and ensure that our models arrive at the customers with a smaller carbon footprint."