Hydro, a leading aluminum manufacturer, and Watt Electric Vehicle Company (WEVC), a UK-based commercial electric van startup, have united in a groundbreaking collaboration to explore the utilization of recycled and low-carbon aluminum. This strategic partnership aligns with the ambitious climate goals of WEVC, aiming to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of its electric vans.
Hydro’s low-carbon aluminum is a key player in this initiative, manufactured using renewable energy and boasting a CO2 footprint of merely 4.0 kg per tonne, significantly lower than the global average of 16.7kg. The collaboration extends to evaluating the incorporation of recycled aluminum in the manufacturing process, further contributing to sustainability.
The goal is clear – to cut the carbon footprint of WEVC’s eCV1 electric van by an impressive 50%. Notably, the plan also involves returning the aluminum to Hydro at the end of the vehicle’s life, creating a closed-loop system that emphasizes circular economy principles.
Paul Warton, Executive Vice President of Hydro Extrusions, emphasized the significance of this initiative, stating, “Cutting the embedded carbon footprint of an electric light commercial vehicle in half is a huge step forward for more responsible manufacturing.”
WEVC, headquartered in Cornwall, southwest England, has innovatively designed a lightweight electric van utilizing aluminum and composite materials. Having already constructed a prototype, the company plans to assemble a small fleet of test vehicles for potential customers in 2024, with series production anticipated to commence in late 2025.
CEO Neil Yates highlighted WEVC’s commitment to creating entirely recyclable vans designed for a 20-year lifespan. The core appeal for fleet buyers lies in the concept of longevity, recyclability, and lower carbon emissions.
In contrast to many electric vehicle startups that faced financial challenges, WEVC has taken a measured funding approach, raising “single-digit millions of pounds.” The company plans a fresh funding round in 2024 to secure “double-digit millions.”
WEVC envisions investing in a small UK manufacturing facility with a production capacity of 5,000 vans annually. Profitability is projected from 2026 onwards, marking a sustainable and strategic approach to the electric vehicle market.
This partnership between Hydro and WEVC not only underscores the importance of green manufacturing practices but also signals a promising future for electric vans with significantly reduced environmental impact.