Novelis has announced it has developed the first aluminium sheet battery enclosure solution to address customers’ needs in the rapidly growing electric vehicle and battery markets. Available globally, Novelois says the design for next-generation automobiles provides a more sustainable mobility solution in battery electric vehicles, a market that is expected to more than triple globally by 2025.

Built with Novelis Advanz aluminium products and part of the Novelis Alumineering Solution portfolio, a collection of design solutions for the automotive industry, the enclosure is up to 50 % lighter than an equivalent steel design. As a result, it matches the best energy density in the industry by enabling more than 160 watt-hours per kilogramme, an extremely efficient design for OEMs and Tier-1 battery pack manufacturers. It also can accommodate all battery cell types and is designed particularly for battery electric vehicles with larger power packs such as pick-up trucks, sport utility vehicles and crossovers. For mass production electric vehicles, Novelis’ aluminium sheet design is the most cost-effective solution when compared to aluminium extrusion and casting-intense designs and has low $/kg saved premiums compared to equivalent steel designs at substantially lower weight.

By utilising Novelis’ highly-formable alloys, the battery enclosure provides automakers the ability to achieve deep drawn, complex shapes tailored to specific vehicle design requirements. The lightweight, high-strength material can help extend range, allowing vehicles to go 6-10 % further on a single charge. With safety as a top priority, Novelis conducted extensive testing simulations to ensure its innovative, high-strength materials will protect batteries from road debris and vehicle crashes.

“This is the first project resulting from Novelis’ recently launched Customer Solution centre network, which brings research and technical platforms, operations and commercial development together to increase collaboration and innovation with our partners,” said Pierre Labat, vice president, Global Automotive, Novelis. “With our investment in design, joining and crash management capabilities, we were able to create a stronger, more efficient, and more cost-effective enclosure that can be fully customised to meet our customers’ needs.”

The design incorporates direct feedback from industry partners as well as automotive design engineers. It also leverages the inherent benefits of aluminium being more corrosion-resistant, easily recyclable and having better thermal conductivity, which helps keep battery cells cool and increases its lifespan as compared to steel designs.

“Novelis’ approach to the battery enclosure opportunity focuses on smartly balancing lightweighting with production cost, structural and thermal efficiency, and crash management, which we believe are the key drivers for adopting an aluminium-intensive solution for the marketplace,” said Kai-Uwe Salzmann, vice president and CTO, EDAG.

As automakers continue investing in sustainable mobility solutions, aluminium is increasingly the material of choice for reducing vehicle emissions. The introduction of this solution ‘aligns with Novelis’ purpose to shape a sustainable world together’.