Going green takes more than just launching electric vehicles that will sooner or later replace all combustion engines. Manufacturing a car, regardless if it runs on fossil fuels or electricity, is quite harmful to the environment by causing pollution. The BMW Group wants to bolster its sustainability efforts by slashing CO2 emissions during the process of manufacturing wheels.
From 2024 onwards, all BMWs and MINIs produced will be equipped with cast aluminum wheels made exclusively with green power. Across the supply chain, making wheels generates approximately 5% of the total CO2 emissions. Switching to green power is projected to bring a reduction of more than half.
It’s worth mentioning the BMW Group manufactures around 10 million alloy wheels each year and 95% are built using cast aluminum. What does it actually mean to use only green power? It specifically refers to the electrolysis process, which is known to be energy-intensive and necessary during the wheel-casting process.
The German conglomerate mentions it has reached an agreement with all wheel suppliers to use only green power from 2024. We’re talking about more than 400 contracts that have already been signed with providers of wheels and aluminum. BMW has commissioned independent audits and these have revealed up to 500,000 tons of CO2 will be eliminated annually.
CO2 Emissions To Drop By 80% During The Process Of Manufacturing Wheels
Since aluminum has significant recycling properties, the old wheels can be melted down to make new ones. It eliminates the need for electrolysis to create the primary raw material. MINI will be leading the way for the BMW Group by introducing a car riding on eco-friendly wheels. The next-gen Countryman coming in 2023 will have wheels made from 70% secondary aluminum. Corroborated with the use of only green power, CO2 emissions are expected to drop by 80% compared to a standard wheel made the old-fashioned way.
Oddly enough, there’s no word about Rolls-Royce switching to “greener” wheels, but it’s only a matter of time before cars from Goodwood will have them. We can say the same thing about ALPINA, the latest addition to the BMW Group.
Source: BMW Group