In addition to electrifying its entire model line-up, the BMW Group has announced that it will be procuring cast aluminium wheels that are 100% made using renewable energy. This is set to begin in 2024.
Currently, the production of wheels account for 5% of the supply chain CO2 emissions. According to independent auditors, making this switch alone can reduce CO2 emissions by 500,000 tonnes per year. The Group procures about 10 million light-alloy wheels per year, 95% of which are made from cast aluminium.
BMW AG board member for purchasing and supplier network, Joachim Post said: “Green power is one of the biggest levers for reducing CO2 emissions in our supply chain. We have already signed more than 400 contracts with our suppliers, including suppliers of wheels and aluminium, requiring them to use green power.”
Aluminium has good recycling properties, making it easier to melt down old wheels as part of the circular economy. This removes the need for energy-intensive electrolysis to produce the primary raw material, but at the same time, the secondary raw material must also meet BMW’s premium requirements for quality, design, safety and mechanical properties.
MINI will pave the way in 2023 – the all-new Countryman will be the first model to use wheels made from 70% secondary aluminium. The combination of clean energy used for production and 70% secondary raw material content can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80%, compared to conventional manufacturing processes.
The long-term plan is to systematically increase the amount of secondary aluminium to make further contribution to sustainability. The group has begun sourcing aluminium from Dubai (since 2021), manufactured exclusively using solar-generated electricity. The material is made in a light metal foundry at BMW Group Plant Landshut, where it is used to manufacture body and drivetrain components.
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