Chemistry, Materials & Packaging
Novelis' Recycled Aluminum Builds Jaguar's Lightest, Most Aerodynamic Sedan

Novelis, world leader in aluminum rolling and recycling, has partnered with Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) to supply aluminum sheet for the recently launched **Jaguar XE — “**Jaguar’s most advanced sports saloon.”

The REALCAR (REcycled ALuminium CAR) project, aimed at creating a closed-loop value chain to recycle vehicles at the end of their useful lives, was launched by JLR in 2008 and funded by Innovate UK.

Through a collaboration with Novelis, documented in a case study by the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), JLR trialed the new ‘RC5754’ aluminium alloy — made from automotive scrap metal — in the production of key components for the Jaguar XE sports car. This new addition to the Jaguar lineup, launched in Europe this fall and arriving in North America in 2016, is the first vehicle in the mid-size segment to feature an aluminum-intensive body structure.

“Novelis is proud to be the supplier of aluminum sheet to Jaguar Land Rover, enabling novel, lightweight construction platforms, such as the XE,” said Pierre Labat, VP and General Manager Automotive at Novelis Europe. “The XE once again reflects the leadership of Jaguar Land Rover and Novelis in the design and production of high-volume aluminum vehicles and is another important milestone in body engineering, redefining the standard in its class.”

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The new XE is the world’s first all-new car in the world to use a high-recycled-content aluminum alloy designed jointly by Novelis and Jaguar Land Rover for the automotive industry. Since 2013, the Novelis recycling plant in Latchford, UK has provided Jaguar Land Rover with a closed-loop recycling solution by converting the car manufacturer’s aluminum scrap metal into new material for automotive sheet. The companies will extend their partnership by using high-recycled-content alloys on all future Jaguar Land Rover vehicles.

“REALCAR has proven to be a resounding success, delivering financial and environmental benefits to both Jaguar Land Rover and Novelis, and contributing to the efforts of both companies to meet their environmental sustainability goals,” reads a new case study report co-authored by JLR sustainability manager and CISL senior associate Ian Ellison. “Incorporating aluminum would lower the vehicle body mass, improve fuel efficiency and, as a result, reduce the environmental footprint and running costs for customers.

“Crucially, the experience gained and lessons learned from the creation and implementation of a closed-loop value chain for automotive aluminum are potentially applicable to other materials and other industries.”

As the world’s leading supplier of aluminum sheet to the automotive industry, Novelis’ research and technology capabilities have helped pioneer the adoption of aluminum in the auto industry. Today, Novelis aluminum products are featured in more than 180 models of vehicles produced by leading automakers around the globe. Novelis forecasts the global demand for aluminum automotive sheet will grow by approximately 30 percent each year through the end of the decade.

Novelis has also been working with Ford to close the loop for automotive aluminum. In 2015, Novelis supplied lightweight automotive aluminum for the Ford F-150, eliminating 700 pounds from the vehicle and making it more fuel efficient. The companies work together to ensure the manufacturing scrap is recycled. Novelis has tripled its automotive sheet capacity since 2011, in part by opening a wholly owned facility in Changzhou, China, the country's first facility dedicated to producing heat-treated aluminum sheets for the automotive industry.

Since 2011, Novelis has invested more than $550 million globally to triple its automotive sheet capacity to 900,000 metric tons by 2015. Demand for aluminum is rapidly increasing as automakers strive to design a new generation of lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles with reduced life-cycle emissions. Each 10 percent weight reduction can result in a five to seven percent fuel savings.

Last month, Forum for the Future launched two free tools, co-developed with partners Novelis and Unilever, designed to empower businesses to make decisions that accelerate the shift towards a more circular economy. Novelis’ Design for Demand tool was created to educate new designers and design students about circular design principles.

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