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Cars BMW Published by J. Doe

Sustainable solutions for CO2 reductions.

As part of the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015, the EU committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent up to 2030 compared with 1990. Designed to avert the most serious consequences of climate change, the Agreement sets out to reduce global warming to well below 2 degrees. It was ratified by 185 of the 197 nations at the World Climate Conference and also won the voluntary commitment of the BMW Group, which has reduced CO2 emissions from its vehicle fleet in Europe over the years by roughly 40 percent between 1990 and 2019. Realising all three aspects of sustainability — business, environmental and social — remains a key driver within our company.

Pioneer in sustainability

The BMW Group has a long history of sustainability. Back in 1973 it became the first company in the automotive industry to employ an environment officer. The goals of the compact range from supporting and respecting international human rights and abolishing child labour, to promoting initiatives that instil a wider sense of responsibility for the environment and employment, and the development and proliferation of eco-friendly technologies. The BMW Group’s progress on fulfilling the various principles is regularly published in the Sustainable Value Reports.

The most visible manifestation of the company’s take on sustainability came in 2013. A revolutionary approach to sustainable mobility was revealed, with the new BMW i sub-brand, the BMW i3 and i8, and mobility services.

Reduction of about 20 percent in fleet CO2 emissions

A key focal point of the sustainability strategy is the reduction of CO2 emissions. The course was set years ago, it is now set to deliver on its ambitious fleet CO2 emissions goals for Europe this year and next, and will already achieve a major reduction in CO2 emissions in the EU of around 20 percent in 2020 compared with 2019.

Cooperations with leading battery cell and tech companies

As the share of electrified vehicles increases, far more attention will need to be paid to CO2 reductions in value creation, and to the energy-intensive production of high-voltage batteries especially. But the BMW Group has entered into cooperations on the development and production of battery cells to prevent an increase of this kind as the planned 7 million electrified vehicles reach the market until that date.

A pioneer in sustainability, the BMW Group has contractually agreed with its cell manufacturers — CATL, Samsung SDI and Northvolt — that only green energy will be used to produce fifth-generation battery cells from the autumn of 2020. So as the share of electrified vehicles increases, the BMW Group will ensure CO2 emissions do not merely shift further upstream and happen in production rather than out on the road; instead they will actually fall. The technology that will make this possible is being advanced at the BMW Group’s Battery Cell Competence Centre in Munich, where engineers are also drilling down through the production process.

Second-life concepts for batteries

When a vehicle reaches the end of its life cycle, the lithium-ion battery inside it is still not ripe for the scrap heap. In fact, battery packs can still be used for quite some time. Extracted from the vehicle, they can be utilised for stationary energy storage, for example, with another 10 to 12 years of service, according to lab tests by the German automobile club ADAC — as second-life batteries with a new working role.

In vehicle production, the battery cell of an electric car accounts for more energy consumption than any other component — even if the energy used is from renewable sources. So the continued use of batteries for stationary energy storage will improve their overall footprint.

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Sep 09, 2020 at 16:30

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