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Aluminium Industry Trend & Analysis, Technology Review, Event Rundown and Much More …

Aluminium Industry Trend & Analysis, Technology Review, Event Rundown and Much More …

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Hindalco’s greener, stronger and smarter metal solutions pave the way to sustainable, lightweight commercial transportation

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Hindalco, a flagship metal company of the Aditya Birla group, is the global leader in aluminium rolling and India’s largest integrated aluminium player. It is a major global aluminium sheet supplier (BIW) to the automobile industry, and its subsidiary Novelis boasts a marquee customer base comprising most auto global OEMs.

Today, Hindalco is leading the aluminium lightweighting automobile initiatives in India, leveraging its downstream technological expertise in rolled products and extrusions, rolling assets, and unique alloy-making capabilities.

ESG and sustainability are key to our growth, and aluminium is clearly a material of choice for the 21st century because it is infinitely recyclable, an integral part of the circular economy.

“I believe product stewardship will play an important role in this agenda,” said Satish Pai, the managing Director of Hindalco.
India’s per capita aluminium consumption is significantly low compared with the global average. An important reason for this is low penetration and ignorance of the value that aluminium alloy can bring to the table. It is important that we develop indigenous world-class technology and solutions to rectify this anomaly. Hindalco is investing in aluminium downstream value-added manufacturing, especially in world-class rolling mills and extrusion capabilities.

“The global trends – the 4 R’s – Reduce, Reuse, Recover, and Recycle support aluminium usage, and we are contributing to these planet-positive initiatives by transitioning from being a material supplier to the role of solution provider across businesses,” commented Nilesh Koul, CEO of downstream business.

India is at the cusp of historical growth. Urbanisation, the rise of e-commerce, and increasing income levels are contributing to the heightened demand for goods and services. As a result, the road freight sector is expected to grow fourfold by 2050. By continuing to run on fossil fuels, these rising fleets will further pollute the air, drive emissions, pose health hazards, and increase energy costs. Low or zero emission vehicles is the only solution to contain these challenges.

Aluminium, a unique versatile metal owing to its high strength-to-weight ratio with appropriate alloying, offers several advantages such as –

  • Higher payload due to lower dead weight
  • Longer life on account of non-corrosive nature and easy maintenance
  • Better safety due to superior crash absorption capability and durability
  • Ease of fabrication owing to excellent formability
  • Higher end of life (residual value) due to recyclability

All this means lower TCO (Total cost of Ownership) and hence better returns across the life cycle.

“Commercial vehicles are potentially a bigger menace in terms of pollution & SOX and NOX related challenges. This green initiative is expected to change the landscape of Indian commercial vehicle over next few years,” said Sagar Dhamorikar – Head of Commercial vehicle business for Hindalco Industries. “The worldwide vehicle manufacturers are opting for aluminium to make smarter vehicles that do more and emit much less, especially with the advent of electric vehicles.”

Aluminium alloy lightweight in commercial vehicles offers a more tangible, instant benefit to the user as it reduces the dead weight and enhances the payload by the same amount, allowing the transporter to carry additional material, amplifying logistics efficiency. In the case of EVs, especially last-mile mobility, the primary benefit is either reducing battery size or increasing range.

We are providing solutions across the CV spectrum. These involve –

  1. Semi or articulated trailers for goods, aggregate transportation
  2. Bulkers/trailer bulkers for the cement and fly ash industry
  3. Containers & load bodies for SCV/LCV/ICVs
  4. Aluminium structural kits and Panels for buses
  5. Solutions for EV battery enclosures and related architecture

Semitrailers/Bulkers -

Creating an ecosystem -

  • On the manufacturing front, Hindalco has created a robust product line, collaborating with the best in the business, such as ARAI and ICAT for design validation and testing, and Fronius for welding solutions. This, coupled with Hindalco’s unique alloy development, hard alloy rolling, and extrusion capabilities, ensures a robust solution combining high strength, low weight, and corrosion resistance of aluminium alloys. We are working with select manufacturing partners and supporting them in getting the necessary fabrication expertise and go-to-market strategies with select institutional partners/end users. Hindalco is also working on fabricating critical components and sub-assemblies to be supplied in a kit form to select fabricator partners to support this ecosystem and enhance customer value proposition.


  • In consultation with ARAI, we have developed aluminium trailers up to 40 Ft and bulkers in various sizes from 20 CUM to 45 CUM capacities, primarily for carrying dry bulk cement and fly ash. Made from a combination of marine grade, high strength 5XXX series and 6XXX extrusions, these lightweight bulkers offer payload benefits to the tune of 3.5 tonnes/trip, making it an attractive proposition.

We are also in discussions with various financing companies to develop innovative financing structures, including leasing to reduce the EMI burden and allow the transporter to benefit from the value proposition through value sharing with the end user.

Value Proposition –

  • The aluminium trailers are designed with environment at the fore. The trailer body is around 40 per cent lighter than MS body resulting in a payload benefit of up to 2.5 tonnes per trip. Coupled with air suspension and prime mover configuration this can increase the payload further. The typical payback period for aluminium trailer is around 2 years. This is also safe as aluminium’s crash absorption is significantly better than steel.

Customer feedback and scope

  • Many companies are embracing this concept as it is a greener option. Each trailer is expected to save up to 45 tonnes of CO2 over its life, as aluminium is infinitely recyclable, reducing TCO (Total cost of ownership). These trailers are deployed today at various cement companies; Nuvoco and JK Cement have testified to the environmental benefits of these trailers. Nuvoco Cement has deployed a fleet of these trailers as a part of its carbon reduction strategy to reduce direct and indirect emissions. A fleet of these trailers is also deployed at our Dahej copper plant to transport copper coils, resulting in substantial logistic cost savings.

Mr. Jayakumar Krishnaswamy, Managing Director, Nuvoco Vistas Corp. Ltd, commented, “A key component of Nuvoco’s sustainability roadmap is its approach to decarbonisation. As part of our carbon reduction strategy, we focus on several initiatives that will reduce direct emissions as well as indirect emissions. The collaboration between Nuvoco and Hindalco is a major step in reducing indirect emissions.”

“Hindalco aluminium trailers provide an ideal platform for electrification of commercial vehicles, where battery cost and range are the major challenges. Many OEMs working on Electric or alternate fuel prime movers are interested in these trailers to compensate for the weight increase in the prime mover due to heavier batteries and storage tanks (for LNG/Hydrogen cells) using these lightweight and strong articulated trailers. We are extremely bullish on this transition and are in discussions with multiple OEMs on this potential deployment,” said Sagar.

Aluminium Bus -

Among road vehicles, inter and intra city buses have the highest lifetime savings potential. Fuel efficiency is the lowest for dynamic applications at low speed typically urban congested roads due to the very frequent stops and acceleration phases combined with a low mean velocity while driving. This is an ideal option for E-buses to take care of range anxiety and improve battery economics.


Hindalco has developed aluminium profiles along with patented joineries for

The salient features of aluminium buses are:

  • Compliant with all CMVR requirements, up to 1000 Kgs lighter than equivalent size Steel Bus
  • No Corrosion – Lower maintenance cost, ~50 Tons of lower CO2 emissions over life
  • Significant recovery on the retirement of buses from the fleet due to high scrap value
  • Superior Driving comfort & Road Performance, reduce noise and Vibration.
  • Enhanced Safety – Lower CG due to lightweight improves stability and control.

Last Mile/Mid-Mile Mobility Solutions –

Last mile cargo mobility is one of the fastest-growing segments in Electric vehicles (3 wheelers & 4 wheelers). Several global E commerce majors are emphasizing on green, ecofriendly last mile delivery.

Aluminium has been widely used in refer containers and other applications owing to lightweight & corrosion resistant properties. It is an ideal choice for last mile cargo containers as it not only enhances driving range, safety and life in corrosive environment but is also more sustainable alternative due to infinite recyclability.


Hindalco aluminium containers are modular, aesthetically superior, and available in kit form. These can be both welded and weldless structures that provide flexibility during fabrication. These are around 40 per cent lighter than equivalent MS containers and obviate any painting requirement. These containers with low TCO find multiple applications in last mile mobility typically e-commerce applications. Hindalco is the exclusive supplier of cargo containers for Tata ACE for its EV version. We are also in discussions with multiple OEMs and new age startups for providing similar solutions.

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