CRU aluminum news roundup

Written by Matthew Abrams

Please enjoy this roundup of recent news from the aluminum industry from our colleagues at CRU.

EU to hit Chinese electric cars with tariffs up to 48%

The European Commission notified carmakers on June 12 that it would provisionally apply additional duties of 17-38% on imported Chinese EVs from next month. The duties will be applied on top of existing 10% tariffs on all Chinese EVs, depending on the extent to which they complied with an EU anti-subsidy investigation into electric carmakers that was announced last September. The move is modest compared with the stiff 100% tariffs on Chinese EV imports into the US, hiked from 25% last month by the Biden administration, although even prior to this, there were virtually no exports of EVs to the US from China.

Major exporters, including BYD, the world’s largest electric-vehicle manufacturer, and Geely, will be hit with additional individual tariffs of 17-20%. European brands such as Mercedes and Renault exporting EVs made in China will pay 21%, while Tesla “may receive an individually calculated duty rate,” the commission said. Companies considered not to have cooperated with the probe, including Shanghai’s state-owned group SAIC, will be subject to the 38% rate. SAIC has dominated the lower end of the European EV market through its MG brand. Manufacturers in China that were considered to have cooperated with the EU investigation but were not assigned individual rates will be subject to a 21% average rate.

Imports of China-made EVs have been dominated in the market by Western carmakers Tesla, Renault’s Dacia, and BMW, but the Commission has forecast that Chinese brands’ share of EVs sold in the EU has risen to 8% from below 1% in 2019 and could reach 15% in 2025. It says prices are typically 20% below those of EU-made models.

ALFED submits response to the UK CBAM Consultation

The UK Aluminum Federation (ALFED), representing the entire aluminum supply chain in the UK, officially submitted a response to the UK CBAM Consultation this week. Through ALFED Trade Committee discussions, two critical areas of concern were highlighted and deemed pertinent to the entire aluminum supply chain and all members. Firstly, ALFED has voiced concerns regarding the risk of trade diversion that may arise from implementing the EU CBAM without the simultaneous implementation of a UK CBAM.

ALFED emphasizes the importance of aligning implementation processes to mitigate the potential imbalance in trade flows and safeguard the competitiveness of UK producers. Secondly, ALFED has addressed the issue of mutual recognition of verification bodies or process methodology between the UK and the EU. ALFED stresses the necessity of ensuring mutual recognition of these systems to avoid duplication of efforts and unnecessary burdens on businesses.

ALFED urges the UK government to consider these points in the UK CBAM consultation to ensure a fair and effective implementation of CBAM measures that support the competitiveness and sustainability of the UK aluminum industry.

Kolkata to replace steel-made third rail with aluminum to cut carbon emissions

India’s first Metro link, spanning 16.45 km between Tollygunge (Mahanayak Uttam Kumar) and Dum Dum stations in Kolkata, is undergoing a significant upgrade almost 30 years after its completion in 1995.

The upgrade involves replacing the steel current-conducting third rail with aluminum, enhancing energy efficiency and train speeds. Metro engineers estimate an 84% reduction in energy loss. Moreover, the changes align with upgrades seen in older metro systems globally, such as in Singapore, London, and Berlin.

Work commenced in Noapara and is expected to be completed by a German company within two years. The new high-conductive aluminum rail, with a stainless-steel top, will reduce system voltage drops and energy losses, enabling quicker train acceleration and increased frequency during peak hours.

The aluminum third rail, which requires less maintenance and is more reliable in Kolkata’s climate, will also significantly reduce carbon emissions by 50,000 metric tons over its lifetime. It generates less heat within the tunnel, improving air quality, and does not require welding, allowing for easy installation using splice joints.

To learn more about CRU’s services, visit

Latest in Aluminum