Low impact – high performance
The electric drive of the Audi e-tron GT is just one area where the car showcases its low impact credentials.
The very components making up the new Audi e-tron GT are, like the car itself, geared towards making a positive difference in terms of sustainability and environmental impact.
31 March, 2021
Then there is the option for customers to have the interior of the e-tron GT upholstered using non-leather products
When the Audi e-tron GT was unveiled earlier this year, the brand showed the world not only a stunning vision of what e-mobility can look like, but also how mobility can take a low impact approach not only through adopting electric drive, but in the production of the car and its various components.
Obviously the very design of the e-tton GT and its RS sibling serves the dual purpose of being visually stunning while also as aerodynamically efficient as possible to maximum range. The Audi e-tron GT is also the first Audi electric car to be built in the Böllinger Höfe at the Neckarsulm site in Germany, a site that has used renewable energy since 2020. In addition to that, since the start of series production of the e-tron GT, a biogas-operated combined heat and power plant has been supplying the heat required for production at the site and Audi uses carbon credits from certified climate protection projects to offset CO2 emissions that currently cannot be avoided using renewable sources of energy. The result of all this makes the production of the e-tron GT carbon neutral on balance.
Then there is the option for customers to have the interior of the e-tron GT upholstered using non-leather products such as Kaskade material or Dinamica. The Kaskade upholstery is similar to natural fibres such as wool, and each upholstery set uses as many as 119 recycled plastic bottles. The Dinamica material on the other hand is similar to Alcantara which has long been used in top shelf Audi interiors.
Another area where the components themselves are making an additional contribution to low impact, efficient manufacture are the wheels. The stunning 20-inch wheels on the e-tron GT are made from low-CO2 emission aluminium supplied by Alcoa to RONAL GROUP, the wheel’s manufacturer. The innovative smelting process for the aluminium was developed by Alcoa and uses a process which emits oxygen instead of carbon dioxide. A joint venture called ELYSIS is now further developing this process which causes no direct CO2 emissions when compared to the traditional process used to make aluminium.
The joint venture company uses a so-called inert anode that replaces the carbon anodes that are traditionally used during electrolysis, which is the process used to make primary aluminium. An inert anode is insoluble in the electrolyte under the conditions obtained in electrolysis.
For the manufacture of the Audi wheels, Alcoa supplies the RONAL GROUP with a blend of metal from the ELYSIS process and Alcoa’s own low-carbon aluminium. The 20-inch aluminium alloy wheels from RONAL GROUP are used as an optional equipment variant for the model and produced using flow-forming technology for weight optimisation. In addition, the special propeller-shaped design of the rim improves the aerodynamic properties while driving.
The stunning 20-inch wheels on the e-tron GT are made from low-CO2 emission aluminium
We are actively searching for innovative processes that help reduce CO2 emissions as early as possible in the creation process
The RONAL GROUP produces the rims at its location in Landau, using 100-percent eco- electricity, and compensates the heat consumption with offsets. Audi, Alcoa and RONAL GROUP are all members of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) and at the beginning of the year, AUDI AG was the first car manufacturer to receive the ‘Chain of Custody’ certificate from the ASI, which certifies that the company works with aluminium in a sustainable way, taking business-ethics-related, ecological, and social aspects into account.
This is all part of the brand's overarching Mission Zero and more specifically, the ‘CO2 program in the supply chain’ which Audi initiated in 2018 to help decarbonise its supply chain. This helps to reduce CO2 emissions in the upstream manufacturing processes for each produced vehicle.
“We are actively searching for innovative processes that help reduce CO2 emissions as early as possible in the creation process,” says Marco Philippi, Head of Procurement Strategy.
"The process created by ELYSIS is promising because it already takes effect in the raw material processing phase. These kinds of innovations allow us to increase our sustainability performance in the supply chain and ensure that our models arrive at the customers with a smaller carbon footprint.”
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