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Novelis supports Car2Car recycling project

April 20, 2023

From scrap to valuable resource: In the Car2Car research project under the leadership of the BMW Group, new technologies are developed for the optimized recycling of end-of-life vehicles. As the world’s largest, most efficient, and technologically advanced aluminium recycler, Novelis is contributing to the project by bringing its expertise in the recycling of aluminium. 

Car2Car, a consortium of partners from industry and science, is conducting fundamental work on the circular economy in the automotive sector. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection, innovative dismantling and intelligent sorting processes are being tested to increase the circularity for aluminium, steel, glass, copper, and plastics in the automotive sector. 

BMW has set itself a target to increase the share of secondary materials in vehicle production to 50%, making increased use of post-consumer materials. Novelis supports BMW in these efforts by supplying the automaker with aluminium sheet containing between 65%-75% recycled content today. The ambition of both, Novelis and BMW is to produce an outer skin panel from 100% recycled aluminium within this project.

“The Car2Car project is another important step toward economically and ecologically sensible circularity in the automotive industry,” says Michael Hahne, Vice President, Automotive, Novelis Europe. “The intelligent, efficient reuse of post-consumer material preserves resources, significantly lowers environmental impact, and, at the same time, reduces dependency on raw material imports.”  

Closed-loop aluminium is a perfect example of how the consistent use of recycled materials helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy needs: recycling aluminium uses only 5% of the energy required to produce primary aluminium, lowering carbon emissions by as much as 95%.

Artificial intelligence (AI) as an enabler for an efficient circular economy 

The Car2Car project is working toward an ideal break-even point between dismantling and post-shredding technology in terms of quality, economics and ecology. Currently, recycling processes still entail high manual workload and losses in material purity. Car2Car uses AI-based sensor technology with recyclable material recognition that identifies different steel and aluminium alloys. This way, a significantly higher-grade purity of the recovered raw materials can be achieved, and the value of the material can be preserved.

The aim of Car2Car is to provide well-founded recommendations for innovative framework conditions that enable shifting from conventional, linear process chains to higher value creation through a circular economy model.