RUSAL expects aluminum Tesla revolution in the automobile industry

RUSAL expects aluminum Tesla revolution in the automobile industry


Moscow. July 19. “RUSAL” does not need to fight for market share on the domestic market in Russia, other aluminum producers no. But the fight with other materials, not only metals, for a share in the overall consumption pattern, the company is constantly. The efforts of RUSAL in Russia to a qualitative change has not yet led, and aluminium consumption in the country remained approximately at the same level. New hope for growth in global demand – electric cars.

The popularity of electric and hybrid cars in the world is growing steadily. Only in 2015, sales grew by 70%, or 500 million units, by 2014, However, the proportion of electric cars in the world total auto sales was only 0.6% last year.

A trendsetter for electric cars is considered to be Elon Musk, who became famous not only as cofounder of Tesla Motors Inc., but as the owner of SpaceX. Founded in 2003, Tesla Motors launched three models of electric cars – Roadster, Model S and Model X. In the following year, the company plans to start selling the Model 3, which will be the first budget car in the Tesla lineup with a starting price of $35 million in Just the first week of pre-orders have been reserved 325 thousand. For comparison: following the results of II quarter of 2016 Tesla Motors has sold 14 thousand 370 cars.

Manufacturers in the fight for weight loss electric cars choose aluminium, preferring it to the traditional metal industry – steel. Now the Tesla cars are almost 70% of the aluminum, and in the medium term a high probability that the proportion of this metal will reach 100%.

About whether the market for electric vehicles innovation in the aluminum industry, as China managed to overtake the United States in the number of electric cars, why it is promising to be the supplier of metal for Tesla Motors, said the Director of the RUSAL sales in Russia and CIS Roman Andryushin.

Aluminum Tesla

According to Andryushina, Tesla incorporates all of the innovative technology, and the presence of aluminium in these electric cars reaches 70%. In the foreseeable future along with the other Tesla cars will be 90%, maybe 100% aluminum, less rubber, paint. “This trend started about 5 years ago and will last for the next 15-20 years”, – says the top Manager.

According to estimates Andryushina, if you take into account that the production of one Tesla takes 500 kg of metal, then the purchase of aluminum on 60 thousand cars will be about 30 thousand tons per year. “In principle, the amount of a good for one consumer of primary aluminum, but on the scale of 20 million tons in the world who have on the automobile industry, it is still less than a percent,” he says.

The use of aluminium in cars began before Tesla, this is just one of such manufacturers.

“I hope that after the construction of the new car sales of electric cars will grow significantly. Now the challenges for the production of 500 thousand Tesla per year, although currently their production is small. When will be produced 500 thousand cars, while only one plant is going to buy 250 thousand tons of metal. Russia and the CIS this year, maybe will consume a little more than 800 thousand tons. So 250 thousand tons of aluminium in the scale of today’s Russia – a third of the market! Of course I want to build a plant in Russia. Or us to become his supplier,” said Andryushin.

Displacement steel aluminium in the production of the car causes concern on the part of the representatives of ferrous metallurgy. “The threat of displacement of steel by aluminum and other substitutes, of course, can not disturb. While the share of electric cars in the fleet is very small, it is obvious that in the short term, they will not be an alternative for the fuel cars. But with conventional vehicles, there are attempts to use aluminum. For example, the Ford F-150,” – said the chief economist of corporate strategy Department, Severstal Pavel Vorobiev.

He stressed that efforts to reduce the weight of the vehicle caused by the need to make cars more economical, with low oil prices, is losing its relevance and concern about the environment. “That’s the last reason is the most serious. But here the effect is achieved not only through the substitution of steel by other materials, but also by improving the design of the engine. The car can always do without the steel, but no one will buy because of high prices, if it’s not branded electric car. Steel is the optimal material from the point of view of prices and properties. So I do not think that the ratio of aluminium and steel will greatly change in the future,” he says.

Vorobyev recalled that leading manufacturers have already become widely used technologies that reduce the weight of the final product. “We are talking about high strength steels, which are at a lower weight had the required strength. That is a high-strength steel, not aluminum, will in future increasingly replace conventional steel in the automotive industry. Therefore, steelmakers will maintain its presence in the industry, but only change the product itself,” he said.

What is wrong Elon Musk?

At the end of October last year, Musk announced plans Tesla Motors Inc. within two years of starting the production of electric vehicles in China, relying on the state program of support of environmentally friendly vehicles. Due to the localization of the production of Tesla products will be cheaper by one-third by reducing transport costs and import duties.

In the “RUSAL” believes that the logic of the Mask with respect to the Chinese market is correct, we need to build production directly in the region of consumption. For comparison, in China sold about 25 million new cars a year, while in the U.S. – 16 million

“What’s wrong Elon Musk? He now has announced that is building a new plant for the production of cars in China will use the Chinese aluminum. 70% of China’s economy is built on energy derived from coal combustion. The concept of environmentally friendly aluminium should be designed from pure component manufacturing to resource savings and the ecology of its use. In the construction of a plant in China Musk will face problems of finding environmentally friendly produced materials. Here we could to help him,” says R. Andryushin.

Now the trend in the industry is that the major automakers with a long history start to investigate the technology of production of materials, and Audi and BMW in this respect are quite far advanced, he said.

“But the Chinese are ahead of US, not only in terms of the overall car sales, but including electric cars. China for two years to expand their production, Tesla slide into second place. Electric cars in China in 2015 has sold 65 thousand, while sales of Tesla was 50 580 thousand cars in 2015, 208 crossover Model X. the Company does not disclose sales information in the regions, but has indicated in the past that more than half of deliveries in the United States,” says Andryushin.

In China to encourage the purchase of electric vehicles running government program: the government subsidizes half the cost of the car and build their own station in their charge. “In America, this issue is decided one citizen – Elon Musk. In Europe the issue of infrastructure is solved easier than in Russia because the region itself is small,” – said the representative “Rusala”.

“I expected China to be inert, because the huge country, growing prosperity, but has not yet reached the European level, there are some problems with the promotion of foreign brands. But no! They have adopted the state program and in two years became the first production electric vehicles. For example, the Chinese BYD, which few people knew two years ago, has already sold 60 thousand cars”, – he admires the achievements of China Andryushin.

Aluminium vs lithium

Tesla Motors plans to increase production and the emergence of new players in the market of electric vehicles that pushes the aluminum industry to new developments.

At the moment almost half the weight of the car Tesla has on lithium-ion batteries – about 700 kg. But this kind of batteries for electric cars is not the best solution, believe in the “RUSAL”.

“Aluminium – an innovative material, which, obviously, will replace lithium in batteries. It is five times cheaper to meet the requirements of fire and explosion. Aluminium-ion batteries, unlike lithium-ion will not ignite and will not explode by heat or mechanical damage. However, they charge much faster than lithium analogues,” explains Andryushin.

According to Andryushina, aluminium-ion batteries are in demand almost everywhere, but primarily considers their application in electric cars. “No less important is the storage of energy for industrial production, because the problem of peak loads now is not solved. But it will be resolved in the near future. For example, in Germany a lot of attention paid to this issue,” he says.

The top Manager gave the example of the Krasnoyarsk region, where the night rate for electricity is significantly lower compared to daytime. “Businesses with such drives, there is no need for night shifts, as these batteries can store electricity at night in the battery, and then during the day to use it. It will fundamentally change the global energy economy and energy balance” – no doubt Andryushin.

The current day world leaders in the manufacture of batteries, lead an active research and development work towards the establishment of the aluminium-ion rechargeable power sources. There are a number of competence centers in America, Europe and Asia. “RUSAL” now very carefully studying this question. I believe we are closest to success, because, on preliminary examination, our scientists on the results achieved surpassed the teams that’ve been doing this for seven years in Europe and ten years in America,” – said a top Manager of “RUSAL”.

How soon will begin the production of aluminium-ion batteries is a matter of a few years: “with innovation and invention is always challenging, but now the pace of technology development and development much faster.”

“We try to keep up with the times, but ahead of their competitors. For this reason, we have begun to engage in the aluminium-ion rechargeable batteries. Our advantage is the fact that the decision in the world not yet found. We are not standing still, leading Russian universities engaged in this issue in the framework of the scientific activities. We are not just engaged in fundamental scientific research, we immediately deployed process in the plane prometropole with the participation of industrial partners with access to an industrial prototype,” said Andryushin.

More of a luxury than a means of transportation

Unfulfilled dream was the idea of creating a Russian hybrid car. “E-mobility” Mikhail Prokhorov has not overcome the stage of deep pre-series prototypes and in the spring of 2014 it became known that “ONEKSIM” has refused from the project. All the technology, design documentation and exclusive rights to know-how on designing the body and chassis of the car was transferred for a symbolic 1 Euro in US.

In the “RUSAL” to emphasize that in Russia, one of the oldest fleet (average vehicle age of about 10-12 years old) and one of the lowest number of cars per capita, and the need for mobility among the population is very high.

“Electric cars certainly have a future in Russia, but to talk about specific figures is premature due to a number of unsolved technical problems and climatic features of Russia,” said Andryushin.

Tesla Motors operates a policy of direct sales, developing its own network of dealers. However, in Russia the company I. Mask does not directly sell electric vehicles, resulting in dealers who are engaged in the delivery of Tesla from abroad and take care of its delivery, including customs procedures.

Now in Russia about 300 cars Tesla, mainly in Moscow. “Just a couple of years ago we had dozens, but now Tesla sales in Russia accelerated, despite the crisis. In November-December last year, for example, we had the largest sales for more than two years of work,” says Director of communications Tesla Club Moscow Igor Antara.

According to him, the growth of Tesla sales in Russia due to the fact that luxury car can afford wealthy buyers who are not so strongly feel the crisis, as the middle class. Among the adherents of the Tesla is and the head of Sberbank German Gref, who described the invention of the Mask as “a wonderfully balanced car, feels his master and may, everyone else.”

“Now customs duties increase the price of Tesla in Russia, at least 48%, plus the car recycling fee, bringing the cost of the car increases by 50-52% of the initial price, to this is added, logistics and Commission agent, ensuring delivery. Accordingly, a realistic cost for the Model S from 115 thousand euros to 200 thousand euros. But usually buy cars from 165 thousand euros, as buyers tend not to take the “empty” machine”, says Antara.

With regard to Model 3 (the initial price in the US $35 million), in Russia the price will reach at least the $50 million, I assume in Tesla Club Moscow. The main reason is again the customs fees, despite the extension of the EEC of the zero import duties on electric cars until September 2017

“Customs requires a certificate of transport vehicle type approval, and Tesla this certificate simply does not exist. Accordingly, a legal entity, which is a discount on the fee can not import a car, and individuals in any case it pays,” says Antara.

According to estimates Tesla Club Moscow, despite the high initial cost of car, maintenance of the electric vehicle costs significantly less than the monthly cost of the gasoline counterpart.

Full battery Tesla is enough for 400 km. If you charge the car from scratch, the cost will be 300 rubles., and on the night rate, about 150 RUB. moreover, Tesla knows when to take cheap electricity – charging starts at a cheap rate,” notes of the Antara.

The question of where to charge the car in Moscow is solved. MOESK and other organizations have built a number of stations, at the moment there are about 30 in the future their number will only grow, I am convinced of Antara. However, while progress marches slowly – 20 stations rapid charging car company established in the Metropolitan area a few years ago.

The representative of “Russian grids” reported that in the framework of the national program of development of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, which the company implemented from February 2012, established more than 60 stations in Moscow – 30 charging stations, as many in the regions. As expected, this year in St. Petersburg will be established 18 stations.

“Infrastructure is created in SKOLKOVO, on the territory of New Moscow. The experience of the program “Moscow transport” will be replicated in the regions. Until the end of 2018 we plan to install 1000 charging stations in 10 Russian regions”, – said the representative of “Russian grids”.

The representative of the company said that the Moscow city government announced a development program for the leading market for the electric city, in which in the near future in Moscow will be installed about 250 stations, and “grids” have become a partner city in the framework of this program.