Earth, is believed to be the only planet in the whole universe with all the necessary elements that are needed to sustain life. Even so, we have now come to realize that our planet earth is not an unlimited source of inexhaustible resources and elements. In the present times, ‘Sustainability’ is a necessary aspect. What is sustainability? No particular definition can be justified to explain this term, but it is a property that every organization in the world aspires to achieve. Sustainability is the ability to exist constantly. Sustainability is more about practical applications and their success rather than theoretical definitions. Sustainability mainly emphasizes on meeting the present day demands in a way so that the ability to meet needs of the future generations are not compromised. The exploitation of the resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development and institutional changes should all be in harmony with the biosphere in order to maintain sustainability. It can basically be regarded as:
- Social progress that recognizes everyone’s need.
- Environmental protection and sustainable use of the natural resources.
- To maintain high levels of economic growth.
- To also maintain high levels in the growth of employment.
The progress towards sustainability can be monitored using appropriate indicators timely. The indicators can be decided considering the various stakeholders like the aluminium industry, employees, suppliers, customers etc.
Aluminium can be justified as the most abundant, durable and versatile metal. It can also be considered as a “green metal” due to it’s various properties as recyclability, availability, formability and versatility of applications. Over the past decades awareness has grown regarding the massive role of the industrial sector in using up the natural resources. Aluminium is a considerable ally in the fight against waste, energy consumption and environmental damage.
Due to the various properties of aluminium it is the most widely used non- ferrous non metal in the world. It is light in weight, corrosion resistant, recyclable , formable, possess a high lifecycle and is a good conductor.
Aluminium can easily be extracted from bauxite. Around 50% of the electricity used to produce primary aluminium worldwide comes from environment friendly and non polluting energy generating resource.
Aluminium is easily and economically recycled. There is an energy saving of 95% in the production secondary aluminium compared to primary metal. Therefore the energy spent in primary production is not lost. About 75% of the aluminium produced since industrial output in the late 19th century is still in use today.
Aluminium today is used in so many sectors like the automotive industry, packaging, building and construction. This is due to the various positive affects to the environment that aluminium offers. Therefore, aluminium can be considered a major stakeholder in sustainability.
Aluminium in EV’s
Electric Vehicles, also known as the EVs, uses several electric batteries for their propulsion. An environmental friendly alternative, EVs first came into existence in the mid 19th century. For about 100 years internal combustion engines using fuel such as gasoline, petrol and diesel have dominated the transport industry. Now, since there is more awareness regarding sustainability and environmental hazards, EVs have resurged as a promising solution. Presently, many companies are coming up with EVs such as Tesla S, Nissan leaf, etc..
At the end of June 2018 more than 3.5 million passenger electric vehicles (EVs) and about 421,000 electric buses were sold globally, bringing the total number of EVs sold to 3.97 million, according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The government is also encouraging the use of EVs in the public transport due to the various advantages they offer. EVs do not generate pollution as they do not produce any affluent gases to be released to the environment. Also the energy source of electric motors is mostly environment friendly. Energy is a renewable source unlike petrol and diesel therefore making EVs a more reliable option. They are basically noiseless.
The use of EV in passenger cars and public transport drove demand for aluminium rolling sheets and extrusions. Aluminium has become a vital part of the EVs industry, as it provides amazing features for their construction. Aluminium is light in weight, formable, high in strength and corrosion resistant. All these properties are considered in the manufacture of an EV and aluminium proves to be the most suitable option. The production of new energy vehicles also fuelled the demand for aluminium alloy not only in China but also all around the globe.
Aluminium demand for EVs in 2018 (without taking into account charging infrastructure) is expected to be around 250,000 tonnes, assuming average aluminium content of around 250 kg per vehicle, analysts estimated. The content of rolled and extruded aluminium products in EVs is expected to remain significantly higher in 2018.
The EVs are the future of the transport industry, and this future can successfully attained by using the right technology and resources. Aluminium plays a vital role in this industry therefore the future demands for aluminium and its extrusion is bound to increase in the coming decades.