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Chemistry, Materials & Packaging
VW, JLR Make Big Commitments to EVs, Circular Tech

Car manufacturers have dominated the news in recent weeks with details emerging about everything from scrappage schemes to big-time commitments to EVs, indicating that a significant industry-wide shift is underway. Now, Volkswagen joins the growing group of mobility giants making the switch to low-carbon vehicles, while Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has launched a new program that will place end-of-life materials into new products.

In hopes of shedding its bad rap following the infamous dieselgate scandal, Volkswagen has announced that every vehicle in its product portfolio will have an electric version on sale to customers by 2030.

The move will be made possible by a €20 billion investment into the development and roll out of the new vehicles, while an additional €50 billion will be dedicated to purchasing the batteries needed to power the vehicles. Volkswagen intends to bring more than 80 new EVs to market by 2025, including 50 fully electric and 30 plug-in hybrids — the most ambitious electrification plans in the auto industry.

“We want to make Volkswagen the world’s number one when it comes to electromobility by 2025. Depending on how the market develops, we’re talking here about to three million e-cars a year,” said Matthias Müller, CEO of Volkswagen, at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

“Nothing can stop the transformation in our industry. And we’ll lead that transformation. Our goal is to redefine mobility. To make it sustainable, clean and better for our customers worldwide. That’s what drives us. That drives me personally. And it’s what 600,000 employees at the Volkswagen Group and our brands are working to accomplish.”

Diesel will, however, remain a key part of the company’s strategy moving forward and Volkswagen will continue to invest in vehicles that run on gasoline, diesel and CNG for the foreseeable future.

The announcement follows similar commitments from Jaguar Land Rover and BMW earlier this week. Jaguar Land Rover revealed that it will cease production of non-hybrid or electric vehicles by 2019, while BMW plans to offer 12 different EV models by 2025. Swedish car manufacturer Volvo has also pledged to produce only electric and hybrid models from 2019 onward.

Meanwhile, Jaguar Land Rover is back in the news for a new closed-loop aluminum recycling program that will see aluminum waste recycled back into new JLR vehicles.

The £2 million REALITY program builds upon the auto giant’s existing REALCAR project to reuse aluminum waste from the manufacturing process. Established in 2008 with funding from Innovate UK, the REALCAR program has allowed JLR to reclaim and reuse more than 75,000 of aluminum scrap.

So far, JLR has invested more than £13 million into implementing closed-loop recycling efforts. More than 10 press shops have been involved in the project, both within JLR and across the company’s supply chain.

The scheme is expected to deliver both financial and environmental benefits — largely in the form of carbon and energy reductions — as aluminum recycling requires up to 95 percent less energy than its primary production. The project plans to use new sorting technologies to differentiate between different grades of aluminum in end-of-life waste streams to ensure a high-grade of reclaimed material. JLR is working with recovery specialist Axion Recycling to further develop the new sorting technology.

Novelis, Norton Aluminum, Brunel University London, WMG University of Warwick and Innoval Technology are also providing support for the project.

REALITY fits within the wider context of Jaguar Land Rover’s sustainability efforts, which include a renewables purchasing agreement that saw the company sign an agreement with EDF Energy to purchase 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources up to 2020.


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