BMW concept shows ‘sustainable car of the future,’ CEO says

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BMW’s i Vision Circular concept previews “a sustainable car of the future,” CEO Oliver Zipse said.

The concept is built almost entirely from recyclable materials, Zipse said at the car’s unveiling at the IAA Munich auto show on Monday.

The four-seat electric car shows the automaker’s mindset when it comes to sustainable mobility, Zipse said.

Its design is optimized to use materials that have already completed a product life cycle alongside organic raw materials.

The concept’s solid-state battery is 100 percent recyclable.

“It will achieve much higher energy density with significantly reduced use of the most valuable resources,” BMW said in a statement.

Zipse said the concept does not preview the automaker’s upcoming electric cars based on the Neue Klasse (German for New Class) architecture.

Instead, BMW is looking ahead to a compact model for the year 2040 with the i Vision Circular concept.

“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,” Zipse said. “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.”

BMW design chief Adrian van Hooydonk said the concept shows the automaker’s ideas for combining sustainability with a new “circular design” approach that has a minimal footprint.

The concept has been designed to reduce complexity in the number of components, material groups and surface finishes.

It has no kidney frame grille and dispenses completely with exterior paintwork, leather and chrome, for instance, van Hooydonk said.

The 4000-mm long concept is about the size of the automaker’s i3 full-electric hatchback. Its design mixes SUV and minivan elements.  

BMW did not give any technical information on the i Vision Circular.

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