AUTOMOTIVE METAL MARKET
The automotive metal market majorly comprised steel manufacturers in past decade, but now with growing emphasis on light-weighting and vehicle electrification, aluminum suppliers have a much bigger opportunity on their hands.
IMPACT OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES ON AUTOMOTIVE METAL MARKET
- Electric vehicle growth will leading to changes in physical and functional requirements of BIW( body-in-white) impacting future vehicle design. The newly designed electric vehicle’s aluminum architecture comprises more than 70% aluminum, enabling significant weight reduction.
- The changes are also apparent in terms of riveting and bonding technology required to create a light, stiff body structure. In addition, aluminum is also required for battery modules, which is a combination of aluminum sheet and extrusions.Li-ion batteries to power BEVs and PHEVs (which will account for more than 75% of all plug-in EVs sold in 2019) are extremely heavy(7kg/kWh), so light-weighting is essential and aluminum is a preferred choice for that
- Development of new high strength alloys and high crush alloys are important for crash management systems((a combination of bumper beams and crashboxes). Improved crash management is important for EVs due to different structural aspect of a vehicle compared to an internal combustion engine
- Tesla Model 3- The second most successful BEV model till date has aluminum in the cabling connecting the electric motor with the onboard battery pack. Aluminum cabling is lighter and less expensive than traditional materials used in cabling.
- The recently unveiled Model Y which will start production in 2021 shares ~75% of its parts with the Model 3 with a similar hybrid aluminum and steel body, which is in contrast to Model S and X, which have all-aluminum construction. The battery tray is also made of Aluminum-steel and the materials are bonded together using friction stir welding, adhesives, and mechanical fasteners
Constellium a leading European aluminum supplier derives ~25% of its annual sales from auto industry and is supplying to BMW and Daimler. It has also launched two new automotive Structures facilities in 2019, located in Vigo, Spain, and Nanjing, China.Novelis is actively targeting BEV market, it has developed a new aluminum sheet battery enclosure solution for BEVs. The enclosure made of highly formable aluminum alloys is up to 50% lighter than an equivalent steel design allows 6-7% extra range per full charge.
Among Asian suppliers, Tata Steel developed DP1000HY-GI, a high-yield, ultra-high strength steel in 2014 product which allowed manufacturers to make lighter components without altering their production facilities.In the same year, it also introduced a new suite of hot-rolled sheet steel products aimed at helping OEMs reduce the weight of undercarriage.