An all-electric BMW X1, 5 Series and 7 Series will be launched as part of the company’s new sustainability strategy. These models are in addition to the fully-electric BMW i3, MINI Cooper SE, BMW iX3, BMW iNEXT and BMW i4, all of which will be on sale by the end of 2021.
As part of the process of making sustainability and resource efficiency central to the company’s strategic direction, the BMW Group is setting itself clear targets for CO2 reduction up to 2030. For the first time, these extend throughout the entire lifecycle: from the supply chain through production to the end of the use phase. The aim is to significantly reduce CO2 emissions per vehicle by at least one third across the entire spectrum. For a fleet of around 2.5 million vehicles, as produced by the BMW Group in 2019, this would correspond to a reduction of more than 40 million tonnes of CO2 over the lifecycle in 2030.
Having already lowered emissions per vehicle produced by more than 70 percent since 2006, the BMW Group now aims to reduce its emissions by a further 80 percent from 2019 levels by 2030. CO2 emissions will then be less than 10 percent of what they were in 2006.
As well as the other aspects of a vehicle’s lifecycle, the strategy also includes lowering CO2 emissions on the road through millions of electrified vehicles. The objective is to reduce CO2 emissions from vehicles by 40 percent per kilometre driven, through a far-reaching product strategy with massive expansion of e-mobility. In ten years, the goal is to have a total of more than seven million electrified BMW Group vehicles on the roads – around two thirds of them with a fully-electric drivetrain.
The BMW Group is already a leading provider of electrified vehicles: By the end of 2021, the BMW Group will offer five fully-electric production vehicles: the BMW i3, the MINI Cooper SE, the BMW iX3, the BMW iNEXT and the BMW i4. Another milestone will be the upcoming generation of the BMW 7 Series which will be available with four different drive technologies: a highly efficient diesel or petrol engine with 48-volt technology, an electrified plug-in hybrid and, for the first time, a fully-electric BEV model. The company will have 25 electrified models on the roads by 2023 – half of them fully electric.
In addition to the BMW 7 Series, comprehensive electrification will be rolled out throughout the model line-up: the high-volume BMW X1 and BMW 5 Series will also be available in the future with all four drivetrain variants – fully-electric, plug-in hybrid, diesel and petrol with 48-volt technology.
The BMW Group also began utilising its vehicles’ extensive connectivity to increase the amount of electric driving by plug-in hybrids this year. Models with eDrive Zones technology automatically switch to pure electric mode as soon as they enter a pre-defined green zone in about 80 European cities already. As availability expands to more countries and cities, it will be possible to increase the amount of electric driving by plug-in hybrids in a growing number of city areas.
As part of its Efficient Dynamics strategy, the BMW Group will also continue its work on reducing the fuel consumption of conventional drivetrains and making them more efficient. The ongoing rollout of 48-volt technology is another element of CO2 reduction.
With growth in e-mobility, much more attention will need to be paid to upstream CO2 – for example, looking at energy-intensive production of high-voltage batteries. Without corrective measures, the growing share of electrified vehicles would mean CO2 emissions per vehicle from the BMW Group supply chain would increase by more than a third by 2030.
The company not only wants to avoid this increase, but also lower CO2 emissions per vehicle by 20 percent from 2019 levels. One of the ways the BMW Group is doing this is by defining a supplier’s carbon footprint as a decision criterion in its contract award processes.
The BMW Group has already reached a contractual agreement with its cell manufacturers that they will only use green power to produce fifth-generation battery cells. This will save a total of around ten million tonnes of CO2 over the next ten years.
Alongside lowering CO2 emissions, resource management also plays a central role in the BMW Group’s business model, for instance, electromobility cannot rely solely on primary materials in the long term.
Vehicles already have to be 95 percent recyclable – but the percentage of secondary material in new vehicles is still relatively low. That is why the BMW Group plans to increase the share of secondary material in its vehicles significantly by 2030 – and is also exploring very far-reaching scenarios. Secondary material reduces CO2 emissions substantially compared to primary materials: by roughly a factor of 3-4 for aluminium and a factor of 2-3 for cobalt, nickel and lithium. Minimising the amount of new extraction needed is also essential to conserve resources and reduce the potential for conflict – especially for critical raw materials.
The circular economy plays a particularly crucial role when it comes to high-voltage batteries for electrified vehicles, which use a number of critical raw materials. Although the European Union currently requires a recycling rate of only 50 percent for high-voltage batteries, the BMW Group has partnered with German recycling specialist Duesenfeld to develop a method that can achieve a recycling rate of up to 96 percent – including graphite and electrolytes. The BMW Group already takes back all used BMW high-voltage batteries worldwide – even though there is no legal requirement to do so. Before recycling comes second-life usage at battery storage farms like the one at BMW Group Plant Leipzig.
BMW’s detailed ten-year plan for its Sustainability Strategy has annual interim goals for the timeframe up to 2030. The company will report on progress every year and measure itself against these targets. The compensation of the Board of Management and executive management will also be tied to this.
Starting next year, the BMW Group will publish its financial figures and general business development in an integrated report that will also include updates on its sustainability goals.
The BMW Group is basing its goals on the guidelines of the recognised Science-Based Targets Initiative [https://sciencebasedtargets.org], which it will also join. Among other things, this means that the CO2 emissions from the production of fuels are also included (“well-to-wheel” approach).