Preparing for circularity
Overview of the most promising solutions for circularity
|Low-carbon materials||Recyclers and material suppliers deploy energy-efficiency measures and scale the use of renewable energy in the recycling of automotive materials.|
|Low-carbon production||OEMs and component suppliers deploy energy-efficiency measures and scale the use of renewable energy in component production and vehicle assembly.|
|Minimised production scrap||OEMs and component suppliers collaborate with material suppliers to reduce material scrap in production.|
|Modular vehicle design||Cars are designed based on a modular concept that simplifies repair, disassembly, and remanufacturing.|
|End-of-life management||Industry works together to increase efficiency of disassembly. Components and materials are channelled towards specialised facilities.|
|Circular material stock||All materials are 100% recyclable. Waste is reduced and materials are recycled at the highest level by specialised recyclers.|
|Components as service||Critical components are sold as a service rather than as a product by OEMs. For instance, batteries are a high value component with the potential for an extended life in automotive and non-automotive applications.|
|Reuse and remanufacturing at scale||Necessary technologies are improved, processes automated, and large-scale facilities established to increase cost-competitiveness.|
|Workshops as a circularity hub||Workshops increase cost efficiency, optimise maintenance services based on predictive analytics, and use manufactured parts as the default option.|
|Purpose-built vehicle||OEMs provide purpose built/purpose adjusted vehicles to mobility providers, that enable improved capacity use and optimised vehicle lifetime.|
|Alternative drivetrain||OEMs scale alternative drivetrain solutions with substantially lower exhaust emissions to reduce use phase emissions.|
|Energy grid integration||OEMs scale smart charging and vehicle- to-grid technology for battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and fuel cell electric vehicles.|
|Leasing and subscription||OEMs and fleet management companies increase their offerings for fleet-based private mobility.|
|Vehicle on demand||A variety of on-demand solutions are already on the market, including car rental, car sharing, P2P sharing, and micro mobility.|
|Mobility on demand||Ride pooling has the potential to optimise capacity use of the vehicle by increasing life-cycle kilometre per vehicle, as well as the average number of passengers.|
|Breathing fleets||Fleet management companies share the fleet across multiple service offerings. Cars are shifted from one service offering to another.|
Source: Raising ambitions: A new roadmap for the automotive circular economy (World Economic Forum)
OEMs are already taking significant action around circularity. For instance, BMW¹, together with its national sales companies, has 2,800 return points in 30 countries offering environmentally friendly recycling, while the group currently manufactures an average of just under 30% of its vehicles from recycled and reused materials.
Through BMW i Ventures, the group has also invested in key technologies that can make a decisive contribution towards achieving its long-term vision of carbon neutrality. For instance, it has invested in Prometheus Fuels, which has developed technology that enables carbon-neutral synthetic fuels to be produced using green energy.
By the end of 2025, Audi² wants to reduce the environmental impact of group sites by 35% per car produced, compared to 2010, and its vision is to produce vehicles at all sites with no CO₂ emissions or wastewater. The company is taking steps to make the life-cycle of batteries as sustainable as possible, while it has also launched the Aluminium Closed Loop project in which offcuts are returned to suppliers and recycled.