The share of aluminum in the overall weight of an average car has increased from 80 pounds in the 1970s to more than 350 pounds today. Manufacturing aluminum, however, is very energy-intensive.
Smelters in China that draw electricity from coal-fired power stations can release 22 tons of carbon for each ton of aluminum they produce. What does it all mean? Demand from the auto industry for the greenest variants of aluminum can only grow, particularly when the share of aluminum in cars is expected to increase to nearly 600 pounds by 2025.