BMW Group has set a goal of reducing its CO2 emissions by over 200 million tonnes by the year 2030. Earlier this month the company announced this goal at its Annual General Meeting. This equals well over 20 times the annual CO2 emissions of a city with over a million inhabitants, such as Munich, the company noted in its press release.
To make this goal a reality, BMW is focusing on reducing the carbon footprint of its vehicles throughout their lifecycle, which starts from raw material extraction, moves into production, goes into their use phase (owner use), and then heads to end-of-life recycling. The goal is to use fewer resources.
Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, stated at the Annual General Meeting in Munich, “A climate-friendly car is not created solely by using green power. We must design our vehicles for sustainability from the very first day of development: reducing the amount of material used to manufacture them and, above all, planning for reuse and recycling from the very beginning. In the face of rising raw material prices, this is not just an environmental, but also a business imperative.”
He also touched upon how the company’s circular economy will help. “The technology for this is extremely demanding: That is why we want to lead the way on the circular economy and play a pioneering role. We are already working on quotas for the use of secondary material in our ‘Neue Klasse’ that are both concrete and ambitious to meet our high standards.”
The company is focusing on making the circular economy its central theme at IAA Mobility 2021. BMW plans to highlight the company’s potential for environmental and climate protection at the IAA Mobility 2021 in September. The company’s approach is RE:THINK, RE:DUCE, RE:USE, RE:CYCLE, which BMW believes provides a holistic view of how the use of primary raw materials can be reduced in the cars of the future.
BMW’s Neue Klasse models are a part of its plans to become more sustainable. The company aims to “take sustainability to a radically new level in its ‘Neue Klasse‘ models from the middle of the decade by significantly reducing its resource consumption per vehicle.” If it succeeds, then it will dramatically increase the percentage of secondary materials such as recycled steel, plastics, and aluminum. The press release noted that the shortage of natural resources and the rising costs of raw materials helped it to see this step as a “crucial lever for sustainable business practices and creating a clear efficiency imperative.”
Reducing The Carbon Footprint Of High-Voltage Batteries
BMW noted that the batteries used in electric vehicles are extremely energy-intensive, which makes them an important factor in the carbon footprint of any EV. The company’s next generation of battery technology will be introduced in the Neue Klasse and it aims to reduce the carbon footprint of the batteries to less than half of the baseline value for the current Gen5 technology.
The company also plans to use secondary material in the development of battery cells and the battery as a whole. It noted that the BMW iX contains up to 30% recycled aluminum and up to 50% recycled nickel — which is a critical raw material needed for making battery cells. It’s also limited the use of critical raw materials in the current generation of battery cells while reducing the amount of cobalt in the cathode material to less than 10%.
“The electric motor no longer requires the use of rare earths.”
50% Of BMW’s Sales Will Be Electric By 2030
The company stated that between now and 2025, it will increase the sales of fully electric models by an average of over 50% per year, reaching more than 10 times the number of units it sold in 2020 by 2025. It noted that based on the current market forecast, the company is expecting at least 50% of its global sales to come from EVs in 2030. The actual numbers may vary depending on the markets and on how much progress is made in expanding charging infrastructure at regional levels.
The press release also emphasized that, from here on out, the company’s entire product portfolio will no longer have any segment position where it doesn’t offer at least one fully electric model. Some individual segments will only have fully electric models. The company stated that it will also be capable of handling a much larger percentage of fully electric vehicles if the demand develops as planned.
“In total, over the next ten years or so, the BMW Group will release about ten million fully electric vehicles onto the roads.”
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