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BMW focuses on sustainability in Munich

Circular economy and sustainable urban mobility headline BMW’s 2021 IAA presence

13 Sep 2021

BMW has announced a renewal in the focussing of its efforts toward a circular economy and sustainable urban mobility at this year’s IAA Mobility show in Munich, embodied by its i Vision Circular concept, a four-metre-long urban electric vehicle that aims to reduce lifetime CO2 emissions through the circular economy.


The i Vision Circular utilises 100 per cent recycled materials in its production, which includes a recycled solid-state gel battery module, a steering wheel 3D-printed from sawdust, and body panels pressed from recycled aluminium or steel.


BMW says development of the concept focused on how best to reduce CO2-intensive processes and which ones optimised closed material cycles.


“We have included circularity in our concept right from the start when designing the BMW i Vision Circular, said BMW head of group design Adrian van Hooydonk.


“That’s why this visionary vehicle is full on innovative ideas that combine sustainability with new and inspiring aesthetics – we call this approach Circular Design.”


Alongside BMW’s core iX and i4 electric production models and five concepts including the i Vision Circular, the company’s overt push towards reduced CO2 production targets and the use of recycle materials demonstrated a clear uptick in the German brand’s battle against its contribution to climate change.


To achieve its goals, BMW is strengthening self-identified targets to significantly reduce CO2 emissions while also identifying a clear course that supports the broadly accepted 1.5-degree Celsius target for the limitation of global warming.


BMW says that by 2030, it will halve the CO2 emissions per kilometre driven of its vehicles compared to 2019 levels and target at least a 40 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions during each vehicle’s lifecycle.


Over the coming decade, BMW plans to place more than 10 million all-electric vehicles on the world’s roads and that the majority of these will include up to a 50 per cent use of what it calls “secondary”, or recycled materials.


BMW says the shift in focus will come to be known as its Neue Klasse (new class) of all-electric vehicles and require a doubling of the expected delivery volume for battery cells – at a cost of €22.36 billion ($A35.86b) – before 2030.


“How companies are dealing with CO2 emissions has become a major factor when it comes to judging corporate action. The decisive factor in the fight against global warming is how strongly we can improve the carbon footprint of vehicles over their entire lifespan,” explained the BMW chair Oliver Zipse.


“This is why we are setting ourselves transparent and ambitions 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.


“With the Neue Klasse, we are significantly sharpening our commitment and also committing ourselves to a clear course for achieving the 1.5-degree target.”


The group says that by 2030 at least half of its global group sales will comprise all-electric vehicles, with the MINI brand offering all-electric vehicles exclusively from 2030.


BMW says its iX and i4 production models are two “core models of its electric offensive” and were introduced to the general public for the first time at Munich.


As well as the two electric production models shown, BMW renewed discussions around the timing of its all-electric 5 Series and X1, both of which are expected to debut before the middle of the decade.


An electrified 7 Series and “the successor to” the MINI Countryman will follow soon after as part of the brand’s push to have at least one electric model on the road in 90 per cent of its current market segments by 2023.


The BMW Group also used the IAA stand in Munich to showcase several urban-focussed electric concepts in addition to the i Vision Circular.


BMW Motorrad debuted the CE 04 scooter, a model it says will “ensure sustainable driving pleasure on two wheels”. The all-electric model debuts both BMW Motorrad’s future-oriented design and several innovative connectivity solutions.


The CE 04 was joined by the CE 02, a classic motorcycle-scooter hybrid that aims to offer electric mobility to teenagers living in urban areas.


An e-bike, dubbed BMW i Vision AMBY and offering a three-stage electric drive system, was also on display in Munich. The model offers speed up to 60km/h, which may be geofenced by the use of a mobile phone-based app.


BMW says the model “combines the benefits of a motorcycle with those of a bicycle” and uses controls like those used on a motorcycle or scooter with footrests in place of pedals.


Finally, the MINI Vision Urbanaut is a full electric model that BMW says encapsulates the MINI brand’s typical characteristics.


The model’s clever use of space is a response to the needs of future cities and lifestyles, says BMW, the interior of the Urbanaut featuring recycled and natural materials with a clear absence of leather and chrome.


BMW says the model underlines the sustainability of its visionary concept, and that it may even provide a first glimpse at the styling and design cues that will adorn the marque’s future all-electric range.

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