Mercedes-Hydro agreement to reduce aluminum CO2 footprint

Emissions reduced by 70% in the material production process. But Mercedes-Benz is overall reorganizing its supply chain to prevent and reduce CO₂ emissions rather than offset them

As part of progress towards its Ambition 2039 target, Mercedes-Benz announces a partnership with Norwegian aluminum producer Hydro to significantly reduce CO2 emissions related to aluminum production in the automotive supply chain. The material – with a carbon footprint reduced by almost 70% – will be used in the production of Mercedes-EQ models, among others, starting in 2023, with a view to achieving a zero-emissions target by 2030.

The partnership focuses on the development of alloys compatible with recycling activities. Hydro is already supplying Mercedes-Benz with CO₂-reduced aluminum for its foundry in Stuttgart Mettingen today. The strategic partnership takes cooperation to a new level to optimize the decarbonisation processes of aluminum used in vehicle manufacturing. Mercedes-Benz is retooling its supply chain to focus on preventing and reducing CO₂ emissions rather than offsetting them.

To obtain the reduction of CO2 in this field – explains the German group – it is important to optimize both the primary aluminum production process and to reduce the emissions resulting from the electrolysis process. But alongside technological improvements, it is essential to increase the use of recycled material to achieve further CO₂ reductions, given that in this way the production of aluminum requires only 5% of the energy required for ‘normal’ production. “This is an important signal to accelerate change in the aluminum industry and increase the availability of low-carbon aluminium,” explains Mercedes-Benz Chief Technology Officer Markus Schäfer.