As the Jaguar XE celebrates its first full-year of sales, ‘REALCAR’, the pioneering recycled aluminium project that contributes to the saloon’s aluminium-intensive body, has reached a significant milestone.
Jaguar Land Rover has reclaimed more than 50,000 tonnes of aluminium scrap, the weight of 200,000 XE body shells, back into the production process during 2015/16 – preventing over 500,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent from entering the atmosphere by not using primary aluminium material.
The figures are a result of project ‘REALCAR’ – REcycled ALuminium CAR – part of Jaguar Land Rover’s circular economy strategy to improve resource efficiency across the business.
REALCAR involves 11 UK press shops implementing a closed-loop, segregating waste aluminium scrap so that it can be sent back into production to be re-melted into recycled aluminium sheet for use in JLR vehicles.
The JLR-led research project – part funded by Innovate UK – also saw the development of a recycled aluminium-based alloy which can accept a higher percentage of the recovered scrap.
In 2014, the Jaguar XE became the first car in the world to use this innovative high-strength aluminium alloy, developed by project partner, Novelis.
More than £7m has been invested across JLR’s own Halewood, Castle Bromwich and Solihull press shops to install intricate segregation systems to capture and distribute the aluminium scrap for re-melting, reducing waste, retaining higher quality and value in the material.
Recovering aluminium in this way offers huge sustainability benefits, with aluminium recycling requiring up to 95% less energy than primary aluminium production.
Group engineering director, Nick Rogers commented: “Innovation is at the heart of everything we do at Jaguar Land Rover.
“We are driven by the desire to produce increasingly world-class, light-weight, vehicles, but we also want to be world leading in how we build them.”
Rogers continued: “Innovative projects such as REALCAR demonstrate our commitment to meeting our sustainability challenges head-on. Its success so far marks a significant step towards our goal of having up to 75% recycled aluminium content in our vehicle body structures by 2020.”
The structural grade of recycled aluminium has since been tested and introduced in the lightweight aluminium bodies of the All-New Jaguar XF and F-PACE models.