ALMA: Advanced Light MAterials and processes for the eco-design of electric vehicles

To improve the efficiency and driving range of electric vehicles (EVs), one strategy is the weight reduction of the entire vehicle. There are already available solutions based on advanced light materials with promising structural properties but these solutions still need further development to increase their Technology Readiness Level (TRL) and market outreach. Furthermore, increasing environmental awareness and forthcoming stricter regulations demands the adoption of circular economy principles across the entire vehicle life-cycle.


To respond to this challenge, ALMA, an EU sponsored multi-partner project, developed a novel BEV structure for a passenger car with >20% weight reduction potential compared to current baseline and 11% LCA improvement. For this purpose, ALMA developed a multi-material eco-design made of a combination of Advanced High Strength Steels (AHHS), Advanced-SMC and steel-hybrid materials, characterized with multiscale model based tools. To achieve the weight goal some design modification in Body in White (BiW) and Battery Housing have been made.

ALMA adopted circular economy principles through the application of eco-design strategies to create a novel BEV platform “made to be recycled”, using a structural reversible bonding technology to enable the separation of components at the end-of-life (EoL) for repair and reuse.

A presentation by Ilya Popov, Research Engineer at FORD Materials & Manufacturing EU.

View of the Speaker

Question 1: What drives you?
Automotive industry is undergoing revolution transformation towards electrification. To fulfill new requirements of new propulsion system, groundbreaking architecture design and multi-material approaches are in demand like never before.

Question 2: Why should the delegate attend your session?
The presentation will introduce the EU-sponsored project ALMA and will highlight a new lightweighting multi-material design with some BEV architecture insights.

Question 3: What emerging technologies / trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?
Multi-material design combining implementation of steel, aluminum and plastics including emerging joining methods will have a great potential in battery electric vehicles in the short and medium run. Particular attention will be paid to recyclability and usage of decarburized materials to achieve net-zero CO2 emission till 2050.

About Ilya Popov
Several years’ experience by NLMK Steel as application engineer and since 2014 Research Engineer at Ford Research & Advanced Engineering Europe, department Materials & Manufacturing EU.
Diverse experience in the sphere of process technology, risk assessment and application of new steel grades for the automotive industry. Lead of several project for implementation of new steel grades and development materials characterization procedures.

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan, that is committed to helping build a better world, where every person is free to move and pursue their dreams. The company’s Ford+ plan for growth and value creation combines existing strengths, new capabilities and always-on relationships with customers to enrich experiences for and deepen the loyalty of those customers. Ford develops and delivers innovative, must-have Ford trucks, sport utility vehicles, commercial vans and cars and Lincoln luxury vehicles, as well as connected services. Additionally, Ford is establishing leadership positions in mobility solutions, including self-driving technology, and provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. Ford employs about 182,000 people worldwide. More information about the company, its products and Ford Credit is available at corporate.ford.com.

Ilya Popov is speaker at the 2022 edition of the Materials 4 Sustainable Mobility Conference.

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