They're better for the environment and more aerodynamic.
All-electric vehicles like the new 2022 Audi e-tron GT are already better for the environment than a conventional gasoline-powered car, but that won't stop automakers from finding more sustainable practices across the board. Audi will begin a pilot program for the new e-tron GT to reduce CO2 emissions during the manufacturing process. The German automaker will specifically focus on the car's wheels, which come from Ronal Group.
Ronal Group supplies wheels for many large car manufacturers, including the 20-inch wheels available on the e-tron GT. As part of the pilot program, Ronal will source low-CO2 emission aluminum supplied by Alcoa, a US-based company. Alcoa has been working in a joint venture with the mining company Rio Tinto since 2018, using the joint name Elysis.
Elysis technology developed by Alcoa uses a self-developed smelting process that emits oxygen rather than the carbon dioxide produced from the traditional aluminum-making process. The traditional electrolysis aluminum-making process uses carbon anodes, but the joint venture company replaces those with so-called "inert anodes." The company plans to ramp up its smelting technology to a commercial scale, using research from the USA and Canada.
Ronal Group's 20-inch wheels (pictured above) will be offered as optional equipment for the e-tron GT and are designed using flow-forming technology for improved weight optimization. As a bonus, the propeller-shaped rim design improves aerodynamic properties while driving. They feature thin blades that mostly cover the wheels, ensuring more aerodynamic efficiency. Having greater efficiency leads to a greater driving range, which is obviously important in an EV.
The wheels aren't the only area where the e-tron GT aims to be more sustainable. This car features a more eco-friendly interior, with artificial leather made from microfiber material. Audi's Dinamica interior option on the e-tron GT uses polyester fibers made from old plastics and textiles, including a total of 119 recycled plastic bottles. The carpets are equally sustainable, using recycled fabrics from carpet remnants and fishing nets.