The discussion surrounding electric cars should not miss out on the most important reason why we’re adopting them in the first place — eco friendliness. To that end, car makers should be doing their absolute best to make sure that we don’t end up doing more harm than good by making electric cars. BMW has been making serious efforts in this regard ever since the BMW i division was made and now, with the BMW iX, it looks like the same principles will be put to work.
Most people focus on things like acceleration numbers, horsepower figures and the range when it comes to EVs but we have to take the whole picture into account if we want to achieve anything. Therefore, BMW decided to make the iX an example for the industry. The car will be made using a sustainable manufacturing process. The Germans will be using recycled materials in the making of the iX as much as possible, green energy is already being used by all plants around the world while manufacturing technique will be looking to cut down on the CO2 footprint.
Utilizing green energy for production of both the battery cells and the vehicle, as well as ,making increased use of secondary materials cuts CO2 emissions by 18 per cent compared with vehicle production where these measures are not deployed. The sustainability targets for the BMW iX were set during the early stages of vehicle development. This includes the upstream production chains.
The focal points on the purchasing side are compliance with environmental and social standards, respect for human rights, conservation of natural resources and reduction of CO2 emissions. Measures for optimizing sustainability were established in partnership with suppliers, such as using recycled materials and harnessing renewable energy. Furthermore, the motors used in the iX will not be using rare earths.
Instead of the customary magnets for which these raw materials are needed, electromagnetic fields are used to ensure both instantaneous and precisely controllable actuation of the electric drive. During development of the latest generation of battery cells, the proportion of cobalt contained in the cathode material was reduced to less than ten per cent. In addition, BMW procures the cobalt for the battery cells itself and then makes it available to the battery cell suppliers. The company can therefore ensure that environmental and sustainability standards are observed during the extraction and processing of cobalt and that there are no violations of human rights.
Apart from the technical side of things hiding under the sheet metal, BMW will also implement solutions introduced on the i3 for the first time for the cabin. For example, the leather used inside the iX will be treated with olive leaf extract collected from the leaves gathered from annual olive tree pruning across Europe. At the same time, synthetic yarn made from recycled nylon waste material will be used for the carpeting and floor mats. Overall, each car will have about 60 kilos of recycled plastic on board, which can also be reused after the car is decommissioned.