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India has a long way to match the global average consumption of aluminium in auto industry: Vedanta Aluminium’s Ajay Kapur

Tuesday, Nov 10, 2020

   Ajay Kapur, CEO - Aluminium & Power at Vedanta Limited, has pointed out in a recent interview that transportation accounts for the largest share of aluminium consumption at 27 per cent across the globe. The use of aluminium in the auto sector surged after the oil crisis in 1970s, triggering fuel economy and leading to the replacement of heavy steel parts with lighter aluminium substitutes. From 35kg per car in the 1970s, the use of aluminium today is 160kg on an average. He says experts project average aluminium content in a car to increase to 250kg by 2025.

  According to Kapur, the domestic Indian market has a long way to go on the road to match its global counterparts in aluminium consumption. The overall per capita aluminium consumption in India is 2.7kg versus the global average of 11kg. In the auto sector, in particular, India’s per capita aluminium consumption is 40kg compared to the global average of 160kg. So, Kapur sees a potential opportunity for an increase in aluminium demand, which comes with ‘green’ benefits like lower carbon emissions, reduced fuel consumption, and better engine performance.
  According to Mr Kapur, aluminium is now the second-most important metal in automobiles, owing to some of its salient features like high strength-to-weight ratio, corrosion resistance, supreme formability, high ductility and conductivity, stylish finish and infinite recyclability. But among all, lightweight is the most advantageous feature of aluminium. Every kilogram of aluminium used in a car reduces the overall weight of the vehicle by one kilogram. The average car weighs about 1,300kg. If there were no commercial limitations and aluminium was used in abundance, it would weigh only 775kg.

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