NIO ES8 Aluminium: Li Bin’s Genius Aluminum Strategy (no other country can copy NIO!)

Summary: There are only 3 countries in the world that can make more than 10 million all-aluminum Electric Vehicles per year.  NIO happens to be in one of them that can make 100 million per year, and Li Bin has taken full advantage of this fact. No other country can copy NIO at a large scale since there is simply not enough aluminum (unless heavy imports are done which will further drive up the price of aluminum).

Two of the above 3 countries have to use up their entire aluminum production to achieve 10 million all-aluminum cars, which is not practical since there are other important uses for aluminum besides cars.

NIO ES8 Aluminium

NIO’s CEO Li Bin has made the genius decision for the NIO ES8 to be completely aluminum, or to be precise, the ES8 uses 96.4% aluminum, the highest percentage of aluminum used in an all-aluminum body in mass production worldwide.

The clear benefit of aluminum over steel is that it is lighter. The NIO ES8 uses an all-aluminum frame, which is about 40% lighter than traditional steel bodies (density of steel 7.8 g/cm3> aluminum 2.7 g/cm3).

With a lighter body, an all-aluminum car would be able to travel further than a steel car per unit of battery power. It is very clear that an all-aluminum car is superior to a steel car.

The NIO ES8’s body-in-white weight is 13.6% of the total vehicle weight, which is 2460 kg. That means, the weight of aluminum in one NIO ES8 car is  approximately 13.6%x2460 = 335 kg.

The genius of Li Bin’s strategy is that no country can copy this all-aluminum strategy on a large scale, as shown in the calculations below. To further add to this, Li Bin must have thought and planned for this very early, well before the factory of ES8 was built.

How many All-Aluminum Cars can each Country make per year

The yearly aluminum production of each country is taken from Wikipedia: List of countries by primary aluminium production.

China produces 36,000,000,000 kg of aluminum in a year. Since one NIO ES8 contains 335 kg of aluminum, that means that:

China can make 36,000,000,000/335 = 107 million aluminum cars per year

Similar calculation for India, India produces 3,700,000,000 kg of aluminum in a year. Since one NIO ES8 contains 335 kg of aluminum, that means that:

India can make 3,700,000,000/335 = 11 million aluminum cars per year

We do the other calculations in the table below. Note that India and Russia have to use up 100% of their aluminum in order to exceed the 10 million aluminum cars target per year. Other countries cannot make more than 10 million all-aluminum cars even if they use up all their aluminum production.

Rank Country/Region Aluminium Production (thousands of metric tons) No. of Aluminum Cars per Year (millions)
1 China 36,000 107
2  India 3,700 11
3  Russia 3,600 11
4  Canada 2,900 9
5  United Arab Emirates 2,700 8
6  Australia 1,600 5
7  Bahrain 1,400 4
8  Norway 1,300 4
9  United States 1,100 3
10  Saudi Arabia 932 3
Number of all-aluminum cars each country can make at the maximum (per year).