New BMW iX | i4 to be made using Hydro-Electric Power alone

Oliver Zipse, the CEO at BMW, strives to produce some of the world’s greenest cars. In theory, electric vehicles indeed have zero emissions; however, most people fail to realize that the carbon footprint to manufacture an EV is significantly greater. 

BMW, the auto giant from Munich, Germany, wishes to bring about a change by radically revamping its supply chain.

BMW iX | i4 Range to be manufactured only using Hydroelectric Power

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The process of decarbonizing the Automotive Industry is paving the way for the entire market, with various players striving for carbon-neutral goals and a commitment toward sustainability.

BMW has vouched to use Hydroelectric Power to manufacture its soon to launch iX and i4 EVs.

According to Oliver Zipse, reducing carbon emissions of any form plays a vital role in the long road towards sustainable mobility and protection of the environment.

Although the BEV’s might use energy from renewable sources, the manufacturing of battery packs is relatively energy-intensive.

BMW iX Electric SUV
BMW iX Electric SUV

Two contracts have been signed with RWE Supply & Trading and Stadtwerke München, two local power companies, to supply Hydroelectric power to BMW’s Munich & Dingolfing plants.

The Hydroelectric power will be produced from the Lech & Isar and tributaries of one of Europes’ most prominent rivers, the Danube, which flows through the Bavarian state in Southern Germany. 

A shift towards the adoption of EV’s on a monumental scale is happening currently, with an increasing number of EV’s coming to market. This would only mean that co2 emissions from the supply chain would go up by a 3rd.

This future increase in the carbon footprint would ultimately defeat the purpose of an EV. BMW strives to avoid this jump in emissions from the supply chain and reduce it by close to 20%, and it will achieve this goal by closely working with its suppliers.

Milan Nedejkovi, one of the members of the Production council, “At BMW Group we have adopted a global vision, in which sustainability is integrated throughout the value chain”.

Here’s BMW’s take on how they plan to reduce their impact on their environment “rather than simply minimizing emissions from driving, we also work to reduce the carbon footprint of our production processes significantly.”

 The BMW Group is already at the forefront of adopting the use of energy from renewable sources in the auto industry. It is currently supplying green energy to countless production sites around the world.

Currently, only aluminum produced using solar energy is being used by the BMW group for all its vehicles.

Nedeljkovi adds, “The novelty is that, in the future, we will supply renewable electricity directly from local suppliers located near our plants.”

Right from 2013, Tueton has strived to supply energy from only renewable sites. For instance, the four wind turbines used at the Leipzig plant where the BMW i3 is currently manufactured use electricity from renewable sources. 

Another example of green energy adoption is at the BMW Group production site in San Luis in Mexico, where the company is also using Solar Energy. The proportion of Cobalt, another critical raw material used in the cathodes of batteries for next-generation BEV’s has been significantly reduced, according to Zipse.

Cobalt and Lithium are now purchased directly from miners in Australia and Morocco. He adds that BMW’s EV’s will also be for any rare earth metals. 

As mentioned above, future models like the BMW iX will be done using Hydroelectric power originating from the Moonsburg and Landshut sites. The BMW i4, on the other hand, will be manufactured using hydroelectric power from the plant at Gersthofen.

The BMW dons use green energy to manufacture its cars and various components of electric components that its EVs use.

BMW Groups long term climate Goals

BMW iX Range
BMW iX Range

The climate goals that BMW has set are for the long term. Between 2016 and 2019, BMW cut emissions by close to 70% for every vehicle it produced. This is a significant achievement by any means.

BMW has also agreed with all its suppliers for using green energy for the production of battery cells. This move will avoid emissions of close to 10 million tonnes by 2030.

Since 2020, BMW has been supplying 100 % green energy to all its production sites. The brand strives to achieve even more and plans to do so by taking advantage of digitizing various processes. 

Analysis of various data points has already helped the brand make its manufacturing process far more efficient. For instance, BMW has managed to optimize various aspects of its production line, like reducing the number of rejected components and periodic predictive maintenance of various machinery. 

“We want to reduce CO2 emissions by another 80 percent by 2030, to be less than 10 percent of what they were in 2006.” Says Nedeljkovi.

Apart from reducing its carbon emissions, the BMW Group is set to completely offset all the remaining emissions ( Scope 1 and 2) with various certificates.

The brand is set to increase its use of secondary recycled materials for all its vehicles. Some of these recycled materials will include steel, aluminum, and plastic.

Availability of these recycled materials in their purest form remains a challenge. For instance, it is found that copper is mixed in steel, due to which this material would fail the stringent safety standards that have been set in the automotive industry.

Despite all these challenges, the BMW Group is determined to achieve its climate goals and is already on the right trajectory to achieving them.


Source: BMW Group Press Release