Lightweight materials to break EV mileage barrier to be presented at Aluminium China and Lightweight Asia 2019

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Increasing the range of electric vehicles is a key requirement for broad consumer acceptance. Aluminium China and its sister show Lightweight Asia will present leading auto manufacturers and their suppliers which are committed to reduce the weight of next generation electric vehicles. The light metal aluminium will be a cornerstone to extend the mileage range.

According to industry forecasts, the annual output of electric vehicles (EVs) in China will reach 2.42 million with 244 different models by 2020, representing an annual growth rate of 41%. However, ‘mileage concern’ still puts off many potential consumers: with today’s lithium batteries, the electric driving range of average-cost EVs is only 100 km.

Reducing the weight of EVs is essential to break the mileage barrier and motivate consumers to adopt them in great numbers. It is estimated that for every 100 kg saved, an EV can increase its mileage by 10-11%, reduce its battery cost by 20% and save 20% daily worn-out costs. And the most important factor to achieve lightweighting is through developing light materials.

Aluminium and composite materials look set to be the most important lightweight materials to be used for the body shell structure of EVs. In 2016, the Society of Automotive Engineers of China (SAE-China) released its EV roadmap, which indicated that the average car weight will be reduced by 20% by 2025, with an average usage of aluminium alloy of 250 kg per car and carbon fibre accounting for 2% of car weight.

The use of aluminium alloys helps to reduce car weight by 30-50% compared with steel, while also ensuring strength and robustness. Aluminium parts are easy to replace, corrosion-resistant and can completely be recycled. These features simplify processes and reduce costs, reflected in the increasing use of aluminium by car makers such as Tesla, BMW and Audi along with Chinese car makers including BYD, JAC and BAIC.

In its 15th year, Aluminium China and Lightweight Asia, which take place from 10-12 July in Shanghai, will feature companies such as Constellium and Novelis. Both companies are highly recognized suppliers of aluminium parts for international car makers. At Aluminium China, Novelis will share insights into its latest aluminium products used in the Jaguar XEL, Audi A6L and Faraday Future FF91.

In addition to global companies, Aluminium China and Lightweight Asia will provide a platform for leading Chinese aluminium suppliers, including Chalco, Alnan, PMI, Kam Kiu, Giant, Hoshion, Mingtal, Qianliang and Runhua.

Lightweight Asia – strong focus on composites

Composites also offer advantages over traditional metal materials, being light, strong and corrosion-resistant. With a focus on weight, safety, energy efficiency and environmental friendliness, the auto industry is keen to harness the high-performance features and adaptability of new composites.

At Lightweight Asia, Shandong Shuangyi Technology, a leading composite turnkey solution provider in China, will demonstrate its LFT-D glass-fibre reinforced composite cell shell, which is 45% lighter than traditional metal-made materials. This ensures lightweight and high strength at the same time, offering a major new option for lightweight EV design.

Grad Group, another composite supplier, is building on its space technology and defence industry expertise to develop new long-fibre reinforced composites that provide battery cells with lightweight and high strength. At Lightweight Asia, lithium batteries using fibre reinforced composite shells will be on display as well as other material including RTM, SMC, LFT-D composites and other related products.

Over 600 companies will showcasing their latest auto lightweight materials, processing technologies and solutions at Aluminium China and Lightweight Asia from 10 to 12 July in Shanghai. International visitors can obtain VIP tickets, free-of-charge business matchmaking and local factory visits provided by organizer Reed Exhibitions, by signing up at the official website:
www.aluminiumchina.com/en

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