Many firms in the automobile industry, including BMW, are developing vehicles that tackle our planet’s sustainability problems. The German carmaker has ambitious aspirations for its electric vehicle portfolio. In addition to producing more electric vehicles, BMW intends to build vehicles built entirely of recyclable materials.
The BMW Group, based in Munich, has stated that it would begin using light-alloy cast wheels consisting of 70% additional aluminum in its “latest generation” Mini Countryman vehicle next year. The usage of waste aluminum wheels was part of the automaker’s bigger declaration about its intention to utilize “cast aluminum wheels manufactured with 100 percent ‘sustainable’ technology for its BMW and Miniature models from 2024 onwards.” According to the car manufacturer, the combination of 100 percent green electricity for production and 70 percent secondary raw material content for the Countryman can lower CO2 emissions by up to 80 percent when compared to standard manufacturing procedures.
“Green electricity is one of the most important levers for lowering Emissions of co2 in our distribution network,” says Joachim Post, a representative of BMW AG’s management committee in charge of buying and distribution channels. “We have already signed over 400 contracts with our suppliers, including wheel and aluminum manufacturers, obliging them to utilize green electricity.” According to the BMW Group, it purchases around 10 million light-alloy wheels each year, with cast aluminum accounting for 95 percent of those purchases. “Aluminium has strong recycling qualities, making it much easier to melt down old wheels as part of the recycling and reuse,” says the manufacturer. This removes the requirement for the primary raw material to be produced through energy-intensive electrolysis. At the same time, the secondary raw material must match the BMW Group’s quality products, styling, stability, and technical characteristics standards.”
The move to 100 percent green power for the production of cast aluminum wheels is another step toward reducing CO2 emissions in the BMW Group supplier network. The objective is to reduce emissions across the supply chain by 2030 from present levels. Increasing the quantity of secondary aluminum in this process in a methodical approach helps to ensure its long-term viability. The shift will have an impact on both the energy-intensive electrolysis process used to produce aluminum and the wheel-casting process. To minimize carbon emissions, all BMW Group vendors have undertaken such contracts.