The average car weighs about 1300 kg. If there were no commercial limitations and as much aluminium as possible was used, it would weigh only 775 kg. Lowering automobile weight by 100 kg will equate to lower emissions of 9 grams CO2/km. 100 kg less weight of car saves 0.35 liters of fuels per 100 km.
Aluminium has been used in the automotive industry practically from day one, but the demand surged after the oil crisis of the 1970s. Obsessed with fuel economy, car designers started replacing heavy steel parts with lighter aluminium substitutes. Since then, the share of aluminium used has constantly been on the upside: from 35 kg per car in the 1970s to today’s 210 kg. Experts project that by 2025 average aluminium content in a car will reach 250 kg. With advancements in performance, fuel economy and carbon footprint, the consumption of aluminium in automobiles is bound to increase in the years to come.
India has only 43 cars per 1000 people of working age; the number being as high as 967 in the US. India is expected to emerge as one of the most promising economies for automotive usage in the coming times with ongoing urbanization, burgeoning consumer class and supportive regulatory policies.
India has a long way to travel when it comes to the usage of aluminium in the transportation segment. With the Indian government’s thrust to increase indigenous production, the country is on the cusp of a tectonic shift as aluminium consumption is increasingly shifting towards value added products. Transportation segment will see greater aluminium demand which comes with its “green” benefits – lower carbon emissions, reduced fuel cost and better engine performance.