OSLO -- Norsk Hydro will supply Mercedes-Benz with low-carbon aluminum for a range of models from 2023, including its electric EQ models, as the automaker plans to decarbonize its supply chain, the companies said.
Mercedes, which already uses Hydro-supplied components, aims to reach near-zero carbon aluminum by the end of 2030 and targets halving its CO2 emissions by 2030 and becoming CO2-neutral by 2039.
Makers of electric cars are looking to use more aluminum to make them lighter to increase mileage and the batteries themselves contain the lightweight metal.
"This is an important signal to accelerate change in the aluminum industry and increase the availability of low carbon aluminum," Markus Schäfer, Mercedes's chief technology officer, said in the statement.
A full-electric Mercedes car, including the battery, can contain more than 700 kg of aluminum, the automaker said.
The two companies will also collaborate on further research on how low-carbon and recycled aluminum can be used in vehicles.
Hydro's low-carbon product, Reduxa 3.0, will have a carbon footprint of below 3 kgs of carbon dioxide per kg of aluminum produced - 1 kg less than Hydro's current low-carbon standard for primary metal.
The global average in 2021 was 16.7 kg of CO2 per 1 kg aluminum.
"This is a pretty big milestone," Eivind Kallevik, head of Hydro's aluminum metal business, told Reuters.
"Last year we said we would produce 3.0 before 2025 and now we will do it already in 2023 - not only produce it but also sell it to one of the most demanding customers."
The process involves Hydro using scrap sourced in the market at one of the primary plants in Norway and recycle it for use in Mercedes cars.
"It's really about understanding which type of scrap we can use, as the material has to comply with primary metal standards," Kallevik said.
He declined to say how much Hydro expected to sell to Mercedes as a result of the deal but said the volumes were "meaningful."