Environmental Report BMW i3 BEV - BMW Group

Environmental Report BMW i3 BEV - BMW Group

Environmental Report BMW i3 BEV Abstract Goal and scope: The scope of the study is the life cycle assessment of the BMW i3 BEV, Model Year 2014. Its ...

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Environmental Report BMW i3 BEV Abstract

Goal and scope: The scope of the study is the life cycle assessment of the BMW i3 BEV, Model Year 2014. Its purpose is to assess the environmental impacts of the entire vehicle and its components according to the product responsibility strategy of the BMW Group. These results are important for the further development and optimization of the next BMW i3 generation as well as for the next set of targets.

System boundaries: The system boundaries consist of all material and energy flows, input and output collected according to ISO 14040 with the following level of detail: 

From sourcing and production of raw materials to production, to use phase, to recycling (incl. transport logistic).

Use of electricity generated by renewable sources for energy-intensively produced lightweight materials and for the BMW internal production.

Use phase: assumed mileage 150.000 km, consumption according to new European driving cycle with electricity mix EU-2010 and/or produced with renewable sources.

Software and database GaBi 4©, ProBas (GEMIS) for current data of electricity mix.

Material data from material balance of the BMW i3 BEV.

The impact assessment is based on the CML-method (November 2009) developed at Leiden University in the Netherlands (Guinée and Lindeijer 2002).

Firma Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft Postanschrift BMW AG 80788 München Telefon Zentrale +49 89 382-0 Internet www.bmwgroup.com

A critical review of the environmental report is done by an external auditor.

The compilation and assessment process was verified by TÜV SÜD assessing compliance with the internal process description as well as verifying data and environmental information used (validation attached). 1/5

The functional unit and the reference flow are defined as the BMW i3 BEV vehicle with an electric motor as an ECE-basis version with a use phase of 150.000 km according to the new European driving cycle at SOP (start of production) in 2014. The BMW i3 is a passenger car with four seats and an electrical range up to 160 km. The drive components include a high voltage battery (HV-battery with lithium ions) and an electric synchronous motor with an engine power of 125 kW.

axes engine

System boundary BMW i3 BEV

brakes/ suspension

electronics/ mechatronics INPUT Electricity Energy -mechanic -thermic Raw materials Operating materials Additives .....



heating/ air conditioning unit

car production incl. logistics (inbound & outbound) interior

use incl. electricity supply


Emissions in -air -water -soil -Land Wastewater Waste Thermal discharge Scraps …..

body attachment parts body carcass

steering wheels/tyre

Fig. 1: Flowchart input / output data of the BMW i3

The LCA according to ISO 14040/44 refers to environmental aspects and potential environmental impacts along the life cycle of a product from the raw material extraction to the manufacturing process, to the use phase, and to the recycling at the end of the vehicle´s life.


Facts: The life cycle assessment (LCA) of the BMW i3 BEV shows the following environmental impacts across the whole life cycle in terms of Global Warming Potential (GWP) (fig. 2). The environmental impacts determined by the life cycle assessments are measured in different units. The GWP, for example, is stated in kilogram CO2-equivalents (kg CO2e). Ambitious sustainability targets had been already set in the early strategic phase of the BMW i3. These targets were pursued steadily and monitored by LCA. By the BMW production energy saving targets and a complete electricity supply with renewable sources were established. For this reason four wind turbines were built at the production site of the BMW i3 in Leipzig. The materials for the i3 were selected according to sustainability targets. For example the use of secondary aluminum and primary aluminum produced with renewable energy is kept up as high as possible. The production of the carbon fibre is obtained with 100% hydropower and consequently the global warming potential is up to 50% lower than for the conventional production of carbon fibre components.

Fig. 2: Distribution of global warming potential over life cycle of BMW i3


Sensitivity analysis: A sensitivity analysis of different scenarios was carried out for estimating the effect of the choices made regarding methods and data on the results of the study. Examples of the scenarios considered in the sensitivity analysis are: 

Influence of the data robustness on the life cycle assessment results.

Influence of the different consumption and electricity availability scenarios during use phase.

Classification of the BMW i3 BEV in relation to conventional vehicle concepts.

Influence of the environmental impact of the high-voltage battery cells and the battery´s lifespan.

Fig. 3: Classification of the BMW i3 in relation to a conventional vehicle concept (118d)

Thanks these sustainability actions over the whole value chain and the ongoing monitoring the resulted global warming potential of the BMW i3 BEV is about 30% up to 50% (renewable source for charging power) less compared to a conventional vehicle (Green Car of the Year 2008) (fig. 3).