The BMW I Vision Circular concept has been revealed at this year’s IAA as a preview of what we can expect from its future materials. The new idea proposes a number of sustainable materials in an attempt to reduce CO2 emissions throughout a vehicle’s entire life-cycle.
Besides electrifying the product portfolio and switching to renewable energy for manufacturing, BMW says it is focusing particularly on circular economy principles and the use of secondary materials. These materials, such as secondary aluminium and secondary steel, can be obtained by recycling waste material and then reused.
The process for supplying secondary materials is said to be far less harmful to the environment and carbon intensive compared to the extraction and manufacture of primary material. This can bring about a major improvement in a vehicle’s carbon footprint, especially on the supply chain side.
The BMW i Vision Circular was created with the goal of optimising closed materials cycles and which allows it to achieve 100 per cent use of recycled materials. This involves making particular use of materials that have already completed a product life cycle or secondary materials as they are known, alongside certified bio-based raw materials.
The same applies to the energy storage device. The all-solid-state battery in the BMW i Vision Circular is 100 per cent recyclable and manufactured almost entirely using materials sourced from the recycling loop. The reason for this is to achieve much higher energy density with significantly reduced use of the most valuable resources.
The circular design approach exudes pure clarity when viewing the car in profile too. The BMW i Vision Circular has a clear mono-volume design made up of just a small number of parts, with the array of different materials used reduced to a minimum.
The proportions take BMW in a new direction as the vehicle extends in an unbroken volume from the front to rear axle. This has been done to offer a generous breadth of interior usability within a small footprint. The wheels form almost the outer limits of the vehicle, combining with the prominently flared wheel arches to produce a hunkered-down, sporty stance. Together with its electrified architecture, the Vision Vehicle offers a premium interior on a small car footprint.