Härkingen/Switzerland, March, 23, 2021 – The new Audi e-tron GT features – initialized by an Audi pilot project – the world’s first wheels manufactured partly with aluminum produced from an innovative smelting technology that releases oxygen instead of CO2. The wheels are made by the RONAL GROUP, one of the world’s leading producers of light alloy wheels for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Audi’s inclusion of these new high-performance wheels reflects the growing demand from OEMs for sustainably-produced aluminum products.
On February 9, 2021, German automobile manufacturer Audi presented its latest hero car: the new Audi e-tron GT, a fully electric sports car. The RONAL GROUP delivers the 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels that are produced using flow-forming technology for weight optimization. The special propeller-shaped design of the wheel improves the aerodynamic properties while driving. The mounted blades are just two to three millimeters thick and thus help to ensure high aerodynamic efficiency.
The Audi wheels are produced in Landau, Germany with 100 % green electricity. The entire gas consumption there is compensated by offsets.
For the manufacture of the Audi wheels, Alcoa is supplying the RONAL GROUP with a blend of metal from the ELYSIS™ smelting technology – an innovative process that causes no direct CO2 emissions when compared to the traditional process used to make aluminum – and Alcoa’s own low-carbon aluminum.
Since 2018, the RONAL GROUP has been a member of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) – as of September 2020 also as an Industrial Member. ASI brings together ethical, ecological and social aspects along the entire value chain. Today, the RONAL GROUP purchases over 92 % of its aluminum from ASI members. “Not only do we obtain most of our aluminum from certified sustainable ASI members, but we also support our customers in creating low-carbon products. We know that sustainability is a key topic for Audi and, as a long-term partner, we share the same values and try to use less material, produce less waste and carbon dioxide”, says Patrick Lämmli, Executive Vice President Group Sales.
Marco Philippi, Head of Procurement Strategy at Audi, adds: “Aluminum is the focus of our CO2 program because producing this material requires a high energy input. We are therefore actively searching for innovative processes that help reduce CO2 emissions as early as possible in the creation process. The process created by ELYSIS™ is promising because it already takes effect in the raw material processing phase. We also appreciate that the RONAL GROUP produces the wheels with 100 % green energy. All this allows us to increase our sustainability performance in the supply chain and to ensure that our models arrive at the customers with a smaller carbon footprint.”
Sustainability is reflecting the values and is part of the RONAL GROUP corporate strategy. “For the RONAL GROUP, sustainability means ensuring the long-term success of the company while protecting our natural livelihood for the people of today and future generations. Against this background, we see ecological issues in particular as a driving force behind innovation”, explains Lämmli.
As early as 2016, the company developed a detailed concept named PLANBLUE and launched the first sustainable wheel, the forerunner of a new environmentally-friendly generation of wheels. PLANBLUE is the integral approach of the Group to ensure consistent implementation of sustainability and assumption of its environmental and social responsibility.
The RONAL GROUP pursues ambitious goals in the fields of “Sustainable and innovative products”, “Energy and climate” as well as “Employee development, occupational health and safety” which are continuously tracked and evaluated.
To date, one-third of all RONAL GROUP plants work with green electricity. As the technology and innovation leader, RONAL GROUP strives to be best in class when it comes to CO2-optimized and eco-friendly products for its customers.
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