BMW told Reuters it plans to focus on design and recycled material in its efforts to cut electric-vehicle batteries’ cost and environmental impact.
"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," outgoing Chief Financial Officer Nicolas Peter said in an interview with the news agency.
BMW has invested in lithium mining for EV batteries, but it said it gets the element from a sustainable source, Kelley Blue Book reported in 2021.
The German carmaker has a battery research center, Reuters said, but contracts with other companies to produce battery cells.
Many carmakers are making sizable investments in mines, battery-production plants and other EV-making resources as they ramp up EV manufacturing in moves away from internal-combustion-engine models. General Motors, for instance, plans to invest in a Nevada lithium source.
The Biden administration has been enacting various measures aimed at incentivizing expansion of domestic EV material production and of charging infrastructure. It wants to focus EV sourcing and manufacturing stateside to wean the U.S. from Chinese sources, and to encourage consumers to switch to EVs to help reduce harmful emissions.
BMW has a battery cell recycling plant through a joint venture in China but plans to recycle at scale through partners, Reuters said. It’s also working to design a hydrogen-powered passenger vehicle as another alternative to gas-powered models.