Hydro Extrusions and WEVC enter low-carbon aluminium partnership

Hydro Extrusions has entered into an agreement with automotive start-up Watt Electric Vehicle Company (WEVC) to deliver recycled, low-carbon aluminium extrusions for eCV1, WEVC’s upcoming commercial electric vehicle.

WECV eCV1 prototype at Hydro UK HQ with aluminium recycling material - WEVC

The eCV1, an electric, light commercial vehicle that is planned to go into production in 2025, will be the first in its category to exclusively use recycled, low-carbon aluminium in its chassis.

WEVC aims to cut embedded carbon in production of its eCV1 electric light commercial vehicle by over 50 per cent compared to other electric LCVs. Leveraging the combination of WEVC’s extended design life, patented bonded aluminium Flex-Tech architecture and Hydro’s new low CO2 and recycled aluminium products, WEVC said it will be the first commercial vehicle manufacturer to reduce CO2 emissions in manufacture.

Norwegian multinational Hydro and Cornwall-based WEVC intend also to explore closed-loop recycling during manufacturing and end-of-vehicle life recycling.

“Hydro partners with innovative, forward leaning companies to help them achieve their goals. In addition to the functional aspects of the extrusions we will deliver to WEVC, the parts will reduce the embedded carbon footprint of the vehicle significantly thanks to the recycled, low-carbon aluminium we can deliver,” Paul Warton, executive vice president of Hydro Extrusions said in a statement.

WEVC will be supplied from Hydro Tibshelf in Derbyshire, where Hydro is recycling aluminium and casting low-carbon extrusion billets. The recycled, low-carbon aluminium that will be used in the eCV1 contains a minimum of 35 per cent post-consumer aluminium scrap and has a carbon footprint of 4kg CO2 per kg aluminium (versus a world average of 16.7kg), thanks in part to the renewable energy used in the production process.

Neil Yates, CEO of WEVC said: “In Hydro we have the perfect partner who can deliver very high-quality ‘greener’ aluminium products, which bring a significant reduction in embedded carbon. Forming a development partnership with Hydro allows us to together make sure the new alloys have all the right strength and durability attributes and the lowest possible manufacturing emissions while considering the entire supply chain.

“At WEVC, we also recognise that repair, re-use and recycle philosophies demand changes in both product design, manufacturing process and business practice and this partnership with Hydro will also explore wider opportunities such as more sustainable closed loop recycling during manufacture through to end of vehicle life recycling options.”