The BMW i Vision Circular - the ultimate driving machine

6 September 2021, 05:36:31

The BMW i Vision Circular - the ultimate driving machineWith the BMW i Vision Circular, the BMW Group is looking ahead to a compact BMW for the year 2040 that is focused squarely on sustainability and luxury. The four-seater is fully electrically powered and offers a generous amount of interior space within its around four-meter-long footprint. It has furthermore been designed according to circular economy principles across the board and therefore symbolizes the BMW Group’s ambitious plan to become the world's most sustainable manufacturer in the individual premium mobility space.

The Vision Vehicle is one of five different concept vehicles with which the BMW Group is presenting how it envisages individual urban mobility at the IAA Mobility 2021 event. Under a single umbrella spanning electric mobility, digitalization, and sustainability, the five pioneering concepts create a versatile mobility mix on two and four wheels fuelled by sustainable thinking, which comprehensively addresses an extremely wide range of mobility needs in the face of fast-changing requirements and growing challenges.

Besides electrifying the product portfolio and switching to renewable energy for manufacturing, the company is focusing particularly on circular economy principles and the use of sec-ondary 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 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. At present, vehicles from the BMW Group are manufactured using nearly 30 per cent recycled and reused material on average. The 'secondary first' approach is intended to gradually increase this figure to 50 per cent.

"The BMW i Vision Circular illustrates our all-encompassing, meticulous way of thinking when it comes to sustainable mobility. It symbolises our ambition to be a pioneering force in the development of a circular economy," explains Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG. "We lead the way for resource efficiency in production and we are seeking to extend this status to all stages of the vehicle life cycle. This is a question of economic sustainability too, as the current trend in commodity prices clearly shows the financial consequences in store for any industry that is reliant on finite resources." He adds, "We will take the next big step towards achieving this with the 'Neue Klasse' models. We appreciate there are many BMW fans longing for a first foretaste of the 'Neue Klasse', but the BMW i Vision Circular isn't it. I can promise, however, that, on a sustainability level, the ‘Neue Klasse’ is being developed with the same mindset applied for the BMW i Vision Circular."

The overriding design aim for the BMW i Vision Circular was to create a vehicle that is optimised for closed materials cycles and achieves 100% use of recycled materi-als / 100% recyclability. 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 stor-age 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 re-cycling loop. It will achieve much higher energy density with significantly reduced use of the most valuable resources.

Circular product design begins by thinking about things differently. For the BMW i Vision Circular this meant scrutinising processes and manufacturing technologies and thinking differently. The function performed by each component part up to now was examined, after which the part was removed without replace-ment or cleverly repackaged where appropriate and then designed to enable closed materials cycles.

"I do more with less" has long been an integral part of the BMW i phi-losophy. The BMW i Vision Circular demonstrates this through the rigorously ap-plied reduction in the number of component parts, material groups and surface finishes, dispensing completely with exterior paintwork, leather and chrome, for instance. Materials from bio-based raw materials also help to minimise environmen-tal impact and contribute to a smaller carbon footprint. As far as the digitalisation features are concerned, smart control panels reduce both complexity and the use of materials. In addition to this, digital surface treatments enable a reduction in the number of hardware variants at the same time as opening up whole new possibili-ties for design.

Ideally, a sustainable product will have a long lifespan, with a rich and enjoyable product experience making people a lot more enthusiastic about using the product – and using it for longer. One way of ensuring this happens is by incor-porating digitality to create new experiences. The display options via digital display surfaces in the exterior and interior of a car and the availability of “option as a ser-vice” allow users to constantly bring something new to the vehicle. Constant up-dates over the air and cloud computing keep the product technically up to date for longer. And the vehicle’s life cycle can also be extended by refurbishing and re-design. Easily detachable connections make it far simpler for users to replace indi-vidual materials and component parts, allowing them to keep restyling the vehicle.

When it comes to the materials used, the focus with the BMW i Vision Circular is on recycled materials (“secondary first” approach) which are intended to be reused again at the end of the product life cycle. Having a small number of dif-ferent mono-material groups with connections that can easily be undone is crucial for good recycling. For this reason, the BMW i Vision Circular avoids bonded con-nections or composite materials and uses intelligent types of connection, such as cords, press studs and quick-release fasteners, instead. It showcases a purpose-developed, aesthetically appealing quick-release fastener for the wheels, seats and instrument panel that creates a ‘joyful fusion’. The laser-etched graphic in the cen-tre of the quick-release fastener is made up of the letters of the word “circular” ar-ranged in the form of a circle. A special socket wrench separates the component parts joined by the fastener with a single rotation. The ‘joyful fusion’ fastener cre-ates a theft-proof and stable connection and, at the same time, allows many com-ponent parts of the vehicle to be dismantled with just a single tool.

"BMW has always known how to resolve apparent contradictions in its products," explains Domagoj Dukec, Head of BMW Design. "With the BMW i Vision Circular, we have set ourselves the challenge of designing a 100% circular vehicle, while at the same time meeting – and in some respects exceeding – our customers’ self-evident expectations when it comes to lifestyle and luxury."

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EV Specifications

Complete specifications of EVs, grouped according to their brand and year

AudiBMWBytonChevroletDaciae.GOFIATFordGenesisHondaHyundaiJaguarKIAMazdaMercedes-BenzMGMININIONissanOpelPeugeotPolestarPorscheRenaultRivianSEATŠKODAsmartTeslaVolkswagenVolvo

Featured

Specifications of some of the most interesting and anticipated EVs.

2022 Audi e-tron S Sportback quattro

2022 Audi e-tron S Sportback quattro

Doors: 5, Seats: 5
Length: 193.0 in / 4902 mm
Height: 63.6 in / 1615 mm
Curb weight: 5941.46 lb / 2695 kg
Location: Rear
Location: Front
Battery: 95 kWh, Voltage: 396 V

2022 Audi e-tron S quattro

2022 Audi e-tron S quattro

Doors: 5, Seats: 5
Length: 193.0 in / 4902 mm
Height: 64.1 in / 1629 mm
Curb weight: 5941.46 lb / 2695 kg
Location: Rear
Location: Front
Battery: 95 kWh, Voltage: 396 V

2021 Audi e-tron S Sportback quattro

2021 Audi e-tron S Sportback quattro

Doors: 5, Seats: 5
Length: 193.0 in / 4902 mm
Height: 63.6 in / 1615 mm
Curb weight: 5941.46 lb / 2695 kg
Location: Rear
Location: Front
Battery: 95 kWh, Voltage: 396 V

2021 Audi e-tron S quattro

2021 Audi e-tron S quattro

Doors: 5, Seats: 5
Length: 193.0 in / 4902 mm
Height: 64.1 in / 1629 mm
Curb weight: 5941.46 lb / 2695 kg
Location: Rear
Location: Front
Battery: 95 kWh, Voltage: 396 V

2022 Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron 50 quattro

2022 Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron 50 quattro Vorsprung

Doors: 5, Seats: 5
Length: 180.6 in / 4588 mm
Height: 63.5 in / 1614 mm
Curb weight: 4717.89 lb / 2140 kg
Electric motor #1: 150 kW, 310 Nm, Location: Rear
Electric motor #2: 70 kW, 150 Nm, Location: Front
Battery: 82 kWh, Voltage: 400 V

2022 Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron 50 quattro

2022 Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron 50 quattro Edition 1

Doors: 5, Seats: 5
Length: 180.6 in / 4588 mm
Height: 63.5 in / 1614 mm
Curb weight: 4717.89 lb / 2140 kg
Electric motor #1: 150 kW, 310 Nm, Location: Rear
Electric motor #2: 70 kW, 150 Nm, Location: Front
Battery: 82 kWh, Voltage: 400 V

2022 Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron 50 quattro

2022 Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron 50 quattro S Line

Doors: 5, Seats: 5
Length: 180.6 in / 4588 mm
Height: 63.5 in / 1614 mm
Curb weight: 4717.89 lb / 2140 kg
Electric motor #1: 150 kW, 310 Nm, Location: Rear
Electric motor #2: 70 kW, 150 Nm, Location: Front
Battery: 82 kWh, Voltage: 400 V

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning PLATINUM Extended Range (710A)

Doors: 4, Seats: 5
Length: 232.7 in / 5911 mm
Location: Rear
Location: Front
Battery: 131 kWh

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning LARIAT Extended Range (511A)

Doors: 4, Seats: 5
Length: 232.7 in / 5911 mm
Location: Rear
Location: Front
Battery: 131 kWh

2022 Mercedes-Benz AMG EQS

2022 Mercedes-Benz AMG EQS 53 4MATIC+

Doors: 5, Seats: 5
Length: 205.6 in / 5223 mm
Height: 59.8 in / 1520 mm
Curb weight: 5853.27 lb / 2655 kg
Electric motor #1: 245 kW @ 4500 - 13500 rpm, 565 Nm, Location: Rear
Electric motor #2: 239 kW, 290 Nm, Location: Front
Battery: 107.8 kWh, Voltage: 500 V

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 4MATIC

Doors: 5, Seats: 5
Length: 205.4 in / 5216 mm
Height: 59.5 in / 1512 mm
Curb weight: 5698.95 lb / 2585 kg
Electric motor #1: 245 kW @ 4500 - 13500 rpm, 565 Nm, Location: Rear
Electric motor #2: 140 kW, 290 Nm, Location: Front
Battery: 107.8 kWh, Voltage: 500 V

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS 450+

Doors: 5, Seats: 5
Length: 205.4 in / 5216 mm
Height: 59.5 in / 1512 mm
Curb weight: 5467.46 lb / 2480 kg
Electric motor: 245 kW @ 4500 - 13500 rpm, 568 Nm, Location: Rear
Battery: 107.8 kWh, Voltage: 500 V

2022 Genesis GV60

2022 Genesis GV60 Performance AWD

Doors: 5, Seats: 5
Length: 177.8 in / 4515 mm
Width: 74.4 in / 1890 mm
Height: 62.2 in / 1580 mm
Curb weight: 4761.98 lb / 2160 kg
Electric motor #1: 160 kW, 350 Nm, Location: Rear
Electric motor #2: 160 kW, 350 Nm, Location: Front
Battery: 77.4 kWh, Voltage: 800 V

2022 KIA EV6

2022 KIA EV6 Extended Range 4WD GT

Length: 184.8 in / 4695 mm
Height: 61.0 in / 1550 mm
Location: Rear
Location: Front
Battery: 77.4 kWh, Voltage: 697 V

2022 KIA EV6

2022 KIA EV6 Extended Range 4WD GT-Line S

Length: 184.8 in / 4695 mm
Height: 61.0 in / 1550 mm
Curb weight: 4530.5 lb / 2055 kg
Electric motor #1: 165 kW @ 4500 - 7700 rpm, 350 Nm @ 4500 - 7700 rpm, Location: Rear
Electric motor #2: 74 kW @ 4500 - 7700 rpm, 255 Nm @ 4500 - 7700 rpm, Location: Front
Battery: 77.4 kWh, Voltage: 697 V

2022 KIA EV6

2022 KIA EV6 Extended Range 4WD GT-Line

Length: 184.8 in / 4695 mm
Height: 61.0 in / 1550 mm
Curb weight: 4497.43 lb / 2040 kg
Electric motor #1: 165 kW @ 4500 - 7700 rpm, 350 Nm @ 4500 - 7700 rpm, Location: Rear
Electric motor #2: 74 kW @ 4500 - 7700 rpm, 255 Nm @ 4500 - 7700 rpm, Location: Front
Battery: 77.4 kWh, Voltage: 697 V

2022 BMW iX xDrive50

2022 BMW iX xDrive50

Doors: 5, Seats: 5
Length: 195.0 in / 4953 mm
Width: 77.4 in / 1967 mm
Height: 66.8 in / 1696 mm
Curb weight: 5379.28 lb / 2440 kg
Electric motor #1: 250 kW, 400 Nm, Location: Rear
Electric motor #2: 200 kW, 352 Nm, Location: Front
Battery: 111.5 kWh, Voltage: 330.3 V

2022 BMW i4 M50

2022 BMW i4 M50

Doors: 5, Seats: 5
Length: 188.3 in / 4783 mm
Width: 72.9 in / 1852 mm
Height: 57.0 in / 1448 mm
Curb weight: 5048.59 lb / 2290 kg
Electric motor #1: 230 kW @ 8000 - 17000 rpm, Location: Rear
Electric motor #2: 190 kW @ 8000 - 17000 rpm, Location: Front
Battery: 83.9 kWh, Voltage: 398.5 V