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Stories by Hydro

Making a difference with Mercedes-Benz

“There's an infinite amount of possibilities with aluminum,” says Kristian Larsen, one of the proud workers at the Hydro Årdal plant, which supplies Mercedes-Benz with low-carbon aluminium.

Now the car manufacturer wants more. And lower. Hydro Årdal will produce a new low-carbon aluminium for Mercedes-Benz, which will be integrated into models such as Mercedes-Benz EQS and EQE.

“The great thing about aluminum is it is easy to shape into whatever you want. It is strong and you can recycle it again and again,” says Larsen.

a man wearing a hard hat and protective glasses
Area Manager Kristian Larsen at Tya casthouse, Hydro Årdal

Not only is the aluminium produced by Hydro using renewable energy, but the new alloy for Mercedes-Benz has a minimum of 25 percent post-consumer scrap content. As a result, the tested material has a carbon footprint of just 2.8kg CO2/kg of aluminium, which is around 70 percent lower than the European average.

The material has passed stringent validation tests for use in demanding structural cast parts. Mercedes-Benz can start using it for large scale production of safety relevant components already in 2023, beginning with the Mercedes-Benz EQS and EQE among others. This milestone comes only a few months after the two companies announced their technology partnership.

Aluminium is part of the solution

"On our path to achieving a net carbon-neutral new vehicle fleet along the entire value chain by 2039, we are reaching the next milestone by bringing low-carbon aluminium from Hydro into our series models as early as this summer. I’m hugely encouraged by these positive results, and I look forward to many more on our path to achieving a net carbon-neutral vehicle fleet along the entire value chain by 2039," says Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG., Chief Technology Officer, Development & Procurement.

a car against with a windmill in the background
Hydro will supply Mercedes-Benz with low-carbon aluminium to reduce the carbon footprint of their vehicle fleet, including the EQ models. Photo: Mercedes-Benz

The European automotive industry needs lighter materials in electric cars to reduce weight and carbon emissions without compromising the chemical specification and the mechanical properties. Car manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Polestar and have all discovered low-carbon aluminium from Hydro. 

"The huge growth in electric vehicles is almost a new industrial adventure for Hydro. We are increasingly experiencing that the industry is contacting us and asking for low-carbon aluminium. This has changed noticeably over the past year. Hydro has clearly distinguished itself as a quality supplier with a low CO2 footprint and a high credibility in traceability throughout the value chain," says Wenche Eldegard, plant manager in Hydro Årdal.

Årdal Plant Manager Wenche Eldegard
Årdal Plant Manager Wenche Eldegard

 "It is a fantastic recognition from Mercedes-Benz that they choose low-carbon aluminium from Hydro. The car manufacturer, like us, has ambitious climate targets, and on the road to zero emissions, all industries must look at the entire value chain. Aluminium and recycling are part of the solution in the green transition,” Eldegard continues. 

By 2030, Mercedes-Benz aims to integrate aluminium with a carbon footprint decreased by 90 percent into their vehicles. At the same time, the car manufacturer is working together with Hydro on increasing the recycled material content. Within the next ten years, Mercedes-Benz aims to increase the share of secondary raw materials in their passenger car fleet to an average of 40 percent.

“What is great about working for Hydro, is that you are making a difference in what you are doing in your daily job. You make improvements, and it matters. You see an effect on what you do,” says Larsen about being a part of the journey towards an even lower-carbon footprint. 

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