Alcoa Corporation announced today that it is supplying sustainable aluminium for the wheels on the Audi e-tron GT, the first vehicle to ever use metal from a revolutionary technology that eliminates all direct carbon dioxide emissions from the traditional smelting process.

Alcoa is supplying aluminium to RONAL GROUP for the manufacture of the Audi e-tron GT’s high-performance alloy wheels, produced with a combination of metal from the ELYSISTM zero-carbon emissions smelting technology and EcoLum™, Alcoa’s low-carbon aluminium brand.

Alcoa invented the zero-carbon emissions technology that ELYSIS, a joint venture company co-founded by Alcoa, is working to ramp up to a commercial scale. The process emits pure oxygen as a byproduct and eliminates all greenhouse gas emissions by replacing the carbon anodes used in traditional aluminium smelting with inert, proprietary materials.

“Alcoa’s DNA is built on discovering the process that made aluminium a part of our everyday lives, and we’re proud to help the industry take another step forward to lower the carbon footprint of global supply chains,” said Tim Reyes, Alcoa’s Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Vice President. “Our partnership with the RONAL GROUP in supplying Audi with sustainable solutions helps make an innovative vehicle even more exciting for consumers.”

The wheels are weight optimised with RONAL GROUP’s flowforming technology and other innovations that improve overall aerodynamics. They are produced using 100 percent green electricity in Landau, Germany and used exclusively for Audi’s first electric sports car.

“For the RONAL GROUP, sustainability means ensuring the long-term success of the company while protecting our natural livelihood for the people of today and future generations,” said RONAL GROUP’s Executive Vice President Group Sales Patrick Lämmli.

The wheels also include Alcoa’s low-carbon EcoLum metal, which is produced with less than 4.0 metric tons of CO2e for every ton of metal produced, including both direct and indirect (scope 1 and scope 2) emissions across the entire production chain, including bauxite mining and alumina refining.

Marco Philippi, Audi AG’s Head of Procurement Strategy, said: “Aluminium is the focus of our CO2 program because producing this material requires a high energy input. We are therefore actively searching for innovative processes that help reduce CO2 emissions as early as possible in the creation process. The process created by ELYSIS is promising because it already takes effect in the raw material processing phase. These kinds of innovations allow us to increase our sustainability performance in the supply chain and ensure that our models arrive at the customers with a smaller carbon footprint.” 

Alcoa, Audi and the RONAL GROUP are members of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI), the industry’s most comprehensive system for third-party certification of sustainable manufacturing practices. The global non-profit includes multiple stakeholders in its certification process, including producers, users, and civil society organisations. Alcoa has earned ASI’s Performance Standard and Chain of Custody certifications, allowing the Company to market and sell ASI-certified bauxite, alumina and aluminium.