The German carmaker is investing in the future, today.
BMW is hard at work establishing itself as a true player in the electric vehicle market, and as we've seen with cars such as the iX3, a Tesla Model Y competitor, and the all-electric i7 which will contend with the Tesla Model S, BMW is on its way to becoming one of the main competitors in this hotly contested arena. The latest news further cements that statement: BMW has just signed a deal worth two billion Euros with Northvolt, a battery producer with a gigafactory currently under construction in Skelleftea in northern Sweden.
Some have stated that BMW is dragging its feet when it comes to advancements in electronic tech, but this move dispels that theory. This deal is noteworthy for its sheer size and sets BMW apart from local competition.
BMW has always had a hand in sustainable manufacturing processes and is building its 'i' brand on reduced carbon footprint designs and production methods. It has emphasized the impact that the manufacture and disposal of batteries can have on the environment and thus the entire production of its battery stock has been optimized to reduce CO2 by substantial margins. These guidelines have been put in place going forward with the Northvolt gigafactory.
As part of the deal, BMW requires that the factory obtain all of its energy needs from locally sourced suppliers which include wind and hydroelectric power. "To make an effective contribution to climate protection, we aim to improve our products' overall environmental balance - from resources to recycling. This applies in particular to energy-intensive production of high-voltage batteries for electric vehicles. That is why we now have a contractual agreement with our cell manufacturers that they will only use green power to produce our fifth-generation battery cells," said Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.
The factory will source the cobalt and lithium necessary for producing batteries from mines they have deemed sustainable. BMW has made it clear that it prioritizes transparency, sustainability, and a reduced carbon footprint. BMW also plans to stop using rare earth minerals in its fifth-generation electric powertrains from 2021.
Faced with a rapid growth in demand for battery cells, BMW will place a heavy focus on the design and manufacture of recyclable units and will invest in the reuse of materials that have reached the end of their life in the most efficient way possible. BMW plans on having 25 electrified models in its line-up by 2023.