British multinational automaker Jaguar Land Rover Limited announced the next step in its aluminium closed-loop program will be a new method for harvesting aluminium from old vehicles for use in aluminium alloys destined to continue on in new vehicles.
The initiative, christened REALITY, is under development at present, with initial testing being carried out on Jaguar I-PACE prototypes that have had the batteries removed. The now-scrap metal from the discarded vehicles is sorted, with the aluminium segregated out and remelted into a useful alloy. The resultant alloy has been tested by scientists at Brunel University to ensure that it meets or exceeds mechanical standards for safe use in Jaguar Land Rover vehicle production.
Though the firm did not release an exact estimate for the program’s expected impact, it said the initiative is a continuation of Jaguar Land Rover’s CO2 reduction efforts. Such initiatives have resulted in an overall drop of 46 percent in CO2 released in its global vehicle production operations.
“More than a million cars are crushed every year in the UK and this pioneering project affords us a real opportunity to give some of them a second life,” said Gaëlle Guillaume, Lead Project Manager, REALITY at Jaguar Land Rover. “Aluminium is a valuable material and a key component in our manufacturing process and as such we’re committed to ensuring our use of it is as responsible as possible.”
Since the company’s first efforts at a closed-loop aluminium economy in the fall of 2013, Jaguar Land Rover has collected and reused about 300 thousand metric tons of aluminium, incorporating the repurposed metal into units in every model the firm produces. JLR was also the first automaker to utilize RC5754 aluminium alloy for automotive production, incorporating the 75-percent recycled alloy into the XE.
At present Jaguar Land Rover utlizes 180 thousand metric tons of aluminium per annum in automobile production.