BMW: Mining for minerals is bad, bets on recycling to lower cost of EV batteries

To reduce the cost of batteries for EVs further, BMW will focus on improving its battery design and recycling to rather than mining, said finance chief Nicolas Peter in an interview with Reuters.

The company's approach is different from some of its competitors, such as Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz, which are investing in mines to secure control of scarce supply of minerals required for EV battery production.

Volkswagen has a battery supplier subsidiary called PowerCo. The company is investing into Canadian mining companies.

"The bottleneck for raw materials is mining capacity - that's why we need to invest in mines directly," said Thomas Schmall, Volkswagen's board member for technology, in an interview with Reuters.

Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Kaellenius has also said that the company is willing to invest in mines. The company has setup a raw materials office in Canada.

"We have fundamentally made the decision that if a deep sourcing opportunity presents itself down to the mine, we are able and willing to allocate capital to that," said CEO Kaellenius at the company's annual environmental, social and governance conference last week.

BMW however, thinks that going down the mining path will make it no different from an oil company.

"We don't think it is right to invest in mines. We view it as more important to get back raw materials from cars and other products," said BMW's CFO Peter.

The biggest portion of a battery’s cost is raw minerals, which like oil, is a finite resource that takes a lot of energy to mine, refine, and transport.

Instead of doing even more mining activities, BMW wants to prove that there is demand for recycled raw materials via the sales growth of its electric cars and it will work with battery recycling specialists to scale up their business, thus creating more capacity for battery recycling.

"With our business development, we are creating the motivation to invest -- but we do not need to develop big recycling facilities for battery cells ourselves."

Battery recycling looks like a greener path but it is not without challenge. Battery recycling only works well in theory. In reality, it is extremely difficult to extract minerals from a used battery, due to complex disassembly required and difficulties in separating minerals from a battery cell. The cost is also very high, which explains why companies like Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz see investing in mining as a more logical solution.

Closer to home, BMW Group Malaysia is one of the few, if not the only car company here to do high voltage battery recycling. Spent lithium-ion PHEV and BEV batteries are recycled by BMW’s battery recycling partner SungEel HiTech, which has a plant in Penang.

BMW also plans to bring down costs by investing in technologies requiring fewer critical raw minerals, such as hydrogen-powered cars, which it is developing in partnership with Toyota.

Also read: After BEVs, BMW calls the Toyota-powered iX5 hydrogen FCEVs the missing jigsaw piece in carbon neutrality

    Channel:
Follow our socials:
Hans

Head of Content

Over 15 years of experience in automotive, from product planning, to market research, to print and digital media. Garages a 6...

Hassle-free purchasing, get your next car fast!

users traded-in for dream car
Add your car

Upgrade

BMW iX

Related Used Car

Quality Cars Guaranteed

Fixed Price No Hidden Fees

5-Day Money-back Guarantee

1-Year Warranty

View More

Related Short Videos

Latest News

8% service tax: Car maintenance cost likely to go up in 2024, continuity of free service packages in doubt

Yesterday’s tabling of Budget 2024 proposed for the current service tax rate of 6 percent to be increased to 8 percent. The scope of the new service tax will also be expanded to include logistics, meaning that the cost to transport finished cars and automotive parts will be higher next year. Details on effective implementation date, or guidelines for car workshops are still lacking so we will have to wait for a separate announcement from Customs. The use of the term service tax is also causing a

Review: Chery Omoda 5 in Malaysia - Bang-for-buck hero does its best to exorcise ghosts of Chery's past

Something about rising tides and lifting boats paints the picture of the Chinese car industry, and among the pleathora of startup small boats rolling into the vast sea you have your vessels; built on the back of years of trial and error, no doubt buoyed with a full coffer. Of course, for a fair few companies, the motivation to chart new waters is to correct missteps of years prior. 奇瑞, or Chery to you and I, will know very well what the latter means. Yesteryear's QQ and A160 were a crack at the

Burning Proton X70 incident: Car now in Proton's possession, cause and findings to be updated after investigations

Proton has issued a statement in regards to a recent viral video, in which a Proton X70 caught fire. The particular vehicle is in the company's possession already. Further findings will be announced upon completion of investigation. Here is the statement in full, released on 13-October 2023: "Proton would like to issue a statement with regards to a video currently circulating depicting a thermal incident on a new Proton X70. We are aware of the incident and would like to thank concerned parties

Gentari wants to expand hydrogen supply biz, welcomes Budget 2024's recognition for EV and home solar services

Following today’s tabling of Budget 2024, Petronas’ green energy arm Gentari welcomes the recognition by Prime Minister Anwar when Gentari’s contribution to Malaysia was highlighted. Gentari CEO Sushil Purohit said, “Gentari is proud to be recognised in Budget 2024, a testament to our growing role in Malaysia’s clean energy ecosystem since our launch last year. We observe with great optimism the clean energy transition initiatives and incentives etched within Malaysia’s Budget 2024 and it is par

BMW Group Malaysia claims No.1 premium EV brand title for 2023, welcomes spending on charging facilities and TVET upskilling

BMW Group Malaysia has sold over 1,700 units of fully electric BMW i and MINI EV models in the first eight months of 2023, a sum which the company says positions it as the No.1 Premium EV provider in the country. In response to today’s tabling of Budget 2024, Managing Director Hans de Visser welcomes the extension of income tax relief for expenses on EV charging facilities. “Looking to the future, the need to accelerate the adoption of EVs as a greener and more efficient solution to transportati

Recommended Cars

PopularLatestUpdates
Hot
Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi Xpander

RM 99,980

View Model
Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63

RM 2,088,888

View Model
Honda

Honda Civic Type R

RM 330,002 - 399,900

View Model
Upcoming
Volvo

Volvo EX30

TBC

View Model
Rolls Royce

Rolls Royce Spectre

RM 2,000,000

View Model

Comparison of Related Cars

BMW iX
View Now