Atlanta’s rolled and recycled aluminium firm Novelis yesterday announced a partnership to provide its proprietary aluminium alloys to Shanghai electric automobile start-up firm NIO.
The agreement has Novelis supplying to NIO its Novelis Advanz alloy to the Chinese automaker from its plant in Changzhou. Novelis aluminium will be used throughout NIO’s electric sport-utility vehicles, including as structural components. The specific NIO models have not been announced, but are expected to debut over the next five years.
“This seminal relationship with NIO is pushing the limits of what is possible with electric vehicles from both a performance and design standpoint,” said Novelis’ Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Global Automotive, Pierre Labat. “It underscores that Novelis is more than just a material supplier, we are collaborators and problem solvers working closely with design teams to help ensure vehicles are built to maximize the unique attributes of aluminum and meet the mobility demands of the future.”
Novelis touts its four decades of automotive aluminium experience and facilities on three continents as among the factors that set it apart from competitors. It boasts aluminium products in 180 automobile models on the roads around the world.
“This partnership of mutual benefit will bring confidence and new capabilities to the booming global EV market,” explained William Li, NIO’s founder and chairman. “The two companies will work together closely and push forward the application of lightweight materials in the next-generation of electric vehicles.”
Operating in China under a name that means “Blue Sky Coming,” NIO is a global start-up firm consisting of over two thousand employees in a dozen facilities around the world. The firm received permission from the state of California last fall to begin testing self-driving vehicles on the state’s roads and highways. The company also participates in Europe’s FIA Formula E Championship, the world’s first single-seat, all-electric racing series.