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Aluminum giant Alcoa Inc. (AA - Analyst Report) revealed the findings of its peer-reviewed life cycle assessment (LCA), which showed that commercial vehicles using Alcoa aluminum significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the vehicles. The study concluded that the use of Alcoa forged aluminum wheels in place of steel wheels helped lower greenhouse gas emissions considerably in the commercial vehicle sector.

The study also revealed that the substitution of 18 conventional steel truck wheels with Alcoa aluminum wheels in North America will cut carbon emissions by 16.3 metric tons over the lifetime of the wheels. This represents the average annual carbon footprint of a four-person household in the U.S.

Moreover, the adoption of Alcoa wheels instead of steel by mass restricted vehicles in North America enhanced the capability of the vehicle to 414 lbs of additional payload per haul with the same fuel consumption. In Europe, the estimate is 215 kg of additional payload per haul. The substitution of 12 steel wheels with aluminum cuts 13.3 metric tons of carbon emissions in Europe.

Further, Alcoa wheels helped save more than 520 gallons of fuel in North America and more than 1,942 liters in Europe.

Using aluminum wheels also enable net energy savings throughout the life cycle of the wheel. Alcoa wheels retain their value throughout their lifetime and have an end-of-life scrap value equivalent to that of primary aluminum.

Alcoa is a leading producer of primary and fabricated aluminum as well as the world’s largest miner of bauxite and refiner of alumina. The company sees a great prospect in its recycling business.
Alcoa, which competes with Aluminum Corporation of China Limited and RioTinto plc. (RIO - Analyst Report), retains a short-term Zacks#4 Rank (Sell). We currently have a long-term Neutral recommendation on its shares.

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