08/05/2023

Mercedes-Benz presents first results of its low-carbon-technology roadmap.


After announcing the technology partnership with aluminium producer Hydro in December 2022, Mercedes-Benz presents first results of its low-carbon-technology roadmap. Following a successful testing phase of low carbon aluminium with a minimum 25 per cent share of post-consumer scrap, the company is bringing demanding structural cast components made of the more sustainable material into series production this year. The tested aluminium comes with a carbon footprint of just 2.8 kg CO2 per kg of aluminium.


“On our path to achieving a net carbon neutral vehicle fleet along the entire value chain by 2039, we are reaching the next milestone: Together with our strategic partner Hydro we are bringing low carbon aluminium into our series models as early as this summer. Thereby we are reducing the CO2 footprint of the aluminium by as much as 70 per cent compared with the European average. Among the first models to be equipped with the more sustainable material will be our EQS as well as the EQE.”
Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG. Chief Technology Officer, Development & Procurement


Processing of low-CO2 aluminium for series models



Today, Hydro already supplies Mercedes-Benz with CO₂-reduced aluminium that comes from electrolysis powered by renewables. As a next milestone, Hydro will supply further, even more CO2-reduced aluminium to the foundry at the Mercedes-Benz plant Untertürkheim. This material accounts for about 60 per cent of the total aluminium used of this alloy type in the Mettingen foundry and includes a post-consumer scrap content of at least 25 per cent. In Mettingen, the material is cast into sophisticated structural components for body-in-white applications.


Among other parts, the material is being used for safety-relevant components, such as the shock towers for the models EQS, EQE, S-Class, E-Class, GLC and C-Class. Furthermore, the EQE will be equipped with longitudinal members made of low CO2 aluminium. Mercedes Benz also plans to use the material for various other parts such as the support frame for the electric powertrain of the upcoming vehicle platform MMA (Mercedes Modular Architecture).


Decarbonisation of the aluminium supply chain: Technology roadmap



The integration of the material into large-scale series production is the first proof point of the partnership between Mercedes-Benz and Hydro. Both partners agreed on a technology roadmap with the goal of reducing carbon emissions in the aluminium supply chains to a minimum. As part of the company’s Ambition 2039, Mercedes-Benz aims to integrate aluminium with a carbon footprint decreased by 90 per cent compared with the European average into its vehicles by 2030. Measures on this way include the use of CO2-optimised aluminium oxide and reductions of CO2 emissions resulting from the electrolysis process by using green electricity and innovative technologies.


At the same time, the partners are working on increasing the recycled material content. Within the next ten years, Mercedes-Benz aims to increase the share of secondary raw materials in its passenger car fleet to an average of 40 per cent.


Actively pursuing a responsible and sustainable supply chain



Mercedes-Benz is fully committed to the responsible sourcing of aluminium and will extend its use of materials certified from mine to supplier according to the standards of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI). In addition, Mercedes-Benz and Hydro are jointly working towards transparent and inclusive processes, putting affected rightsholders at the centre. Low hurdles for participation for mining communities and indigenous peoples are key to effective human rights due diligence, including in certification schemes.


About Mercedes-Benz



Mercedes-Benz has set itself the target of making its fleet of new vehicles net carbon-neutral over the vehicles’ entire life cycle by 2039. When it comes to sustainability, the company is focused on the consequent reduction of CO2 emissions as well as the preservation of resources. In 2020, Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans already sent out an ambition letter to suppliers of production materials. This was a declaration of intent on net carbon-neutral products and established approval as a prerequisite for awarding contracts. Suppliers representing almost 90 per cent of Mercedes-Benz's annual purchasing volume have already signed the letter.


The vehicle manufacturer’s “Design for Environment” approach takes resource preservation from the very earliest stages of product development into account. Together with its partners, Mercedes-Benz is researching more sustainable material technologies and working intensively towards circularity.


About Hydro



Hydro is a Norwegian leading aluminium and energy company that builds businesses and partnerships for a more sustainable future. Since 1905, Hydro has turned natural resources into valuable products for people and businesses, creating a safe and secure workplace for its 31,000 employees in more than 140 locations and 40 countries. Today, Hydro owns and operates various businesses and have investments with a base in sustainable industries. Hydro is present in a broad range of market segments for aluminium and metal recycling, plus energy and renewables. Hydro is committed to leading the way towards a more sustainable future, creating more viable societies by developing natural resources into products and solutions in innovative and efficient ways.

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