In a rare and surprise move for a company that generates multi-billions of dollars every year, BMW is actually taking an ethical approach to how it invests in future EV production. In an effort to lower EV production costs, BMW will adopt more efficient processes and specifically target the use of raw materials for the production of EV batteries. Therefore BMW will not invest in mineral mining, instead focusing on efficient recycling of the lithium-ion material supply chain.
Rival automakers are taking a much more straightforward mentality. Volkswagen is investing in rare earth mines to secure its own battery manufacturing capacity. No surprise Mercedes is also investing in mining rare earth minerals. Tesla wants to invest in lithium mines however, BMW believes it is simply more efficient to extract the required raw materials from existing cars and products at the end of their lifecycle.
BMW has partnered with a battery cell recycling plant in China to extract and recycle lithium and other raw materials needed for modern EV production. The company believes recycling specific raw materials will be more than enough to meet current and future electric vehicle demand.
BMW’s plan is to partner with existing recycling supply chains rather than invest in setting up new mining efforts. This approach, says BMW, will lower battery production costs and make EVs more affordable.