Like most automakers today, BMW wants to be an eco-friendly brand. Aside from introducing a wide range of electric vehicles like the i4 and the iX to reduce emissions, the automaker wants to make the production process more sustainable in the future. The small hatchback concept you see here shows how BMW plans to do just that.
Called the i Vision Circular concept, it previews BMW's idea of an electric compact car for the year 2040. What makes it interesting is the materials used to build it. According to the automaker, 100 % of all materials used are recyclable, including the solid-state battery pack. The automaker says that producing the battery from recycled materials will help the said battery achieve higher energy density without using up valuable resources.
The body of the concept is made from recycled aluminum. BMW adds that the i Vision Circular avoids bonded connections and composite materials for the vehicle's construction. Instead, it uses cords, press studs, and quick-release fasteners, making it easier to break down and re-recycle.
As for the design itself, it looks unlike any BMW model today. The brand's signature kidney grilles have been enlarged even further, but crosswise this time. However, these aren't the traditional grilles anymore – this is an EV, after all. Instead, it's a digital surface that can project different lighting patterns. Meanwhile, the BMW logo is engraved onto the front with the name etched into the body.
In line with the fully recyclable theme, the body has no paint. Instead, the light gold color comes from the recycled aluminum, while the deep blue shade comes from the heat-treated rear end. Instead of chrome trim around the windows, it's now a digital surface. This being a BMW, the brand's famed Hofmeister kink remains. Interestingly, even the tires come from “sustainably cultivated” natural rubber.
Inside, it's all recycled materials too which are largely 3D printed. Instead of a traditional instrument cluster, a large 3D printed crystal interface sits front and center, which BMW says reacts to hand movements. The huge windshield doubles as a glass roof, while the seats are made from recycled plastic.
BMW did not mention details about the concept's powertrain, only that the i Vision Circular is electric. It's the same for features such as autonomous driving.
It's unlikely the BMW i Vision Circular will be making it into production, at least not anytime soon. But maybe by 2040, the automaker will have made something similar. However, expect the recycling techniques to be used in its future models.