bmw electric vehicle

BMW to use recycled materials in its cars as part of carbon-cutting drive

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BMW is planning to reduce the lifetime carbon emissions of its vehicles by 40 per cent, upping its previous target by a third, partly by boosting its use of recycled materials.

The automaker said it was committed to supporting the 1.5°C target limit for global warming as laid out in the Paris Agreement and that by 2030 the CO2 emissions per vehicle and kilometre driven will be “at least halved” from 2019 levels.

“The decisive factor in the fight against global warming is how strongly we can improve the carbon footprint of vehicles over their entire life span. This is why we are setting ourselves transparent and ambitious goals for the substantial reduction of CO2 emissions. These are validated by the Science Based Targets Initiative and will deliver an effective and measurable contribution,” said Oliver Zipse, BMW board chairman.

BMW said it was the first German carmaker to pledge to meet carbon targets that limit global warming to 1.5°C and that it is committed to achieving full climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest.

The company plans to sell around ten million all-electric vehicles over the next decade and expects that by 2030 at least half of its sales will be all-electric. Its Mini brand already plans to exclusively offer all-electric vehicles from 2030 onwards.

As part of its carbon calculations, BMW will take into account the emissions from the production of fuel or electricity that will be used by its vehicles while also reducing its use of primary materials used in their manufacture.

“2017 was the first time the world’s population consumed more than 100 billion tons of resources within a single year - a trend which we in the automotive industry must also counteract,” Zipse said.

“This is a strategic issue, concerning not only ecological but also economic sustainability; the current development of commodity prices demonstrates the impact an industry that is dependent on limited resources must expect.”

With the number of battery-powered vehicles growing, there is increasing demand for many commodities such as cobalt, nickel and aluminium, which are required for the vehicles’ high-voltage batteries.

The amount of secondary nickel used for the high-voltage battery in the BMW iX is already “as high as 50 per cent” with the battery housing containing “up to” 30 per cent secondary aluminium, BMW said. It noted that it aims to improve upon these figures for future product generations.

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