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Small-series all-electric MINI Cooper SE Convertible to feature alloy wheels from 100% recycled aluminum

The new MINI Cooper SE Convertible (combined power consumption: 17.2kWh/100 km according to WLTP) (earlier post) will be the first series model to be produced with alloy wheels that are made entirely from recycled aluminum.

The first use of 100% secondary aluminum for light-alloy wheels on a series-production vehicle is in cooperation with the wheel manufacturer Ronal. The consistent use of recycled aluminum not only conserves raw material sources, but also eliminates the particularly energy-intensive electrolysis process that is normally necessary to produce light alloys.

The light support wheel made from 100% recycled aluminum features aerodynamically optimized real metal inlays as well as an innovatively designed center cap. Made entirely from recycled light alloy, the support wheel completely meets the structural requirements and high quality standards of the BMW Group, while the inlays optimize the aerodynamic properties of the vehicle, thereby increasing the range of the MINI Cooper SE Convertible.

P90495439_lowRes_100-recycled-alumini

In other words, the innovative alloy wheels contribute to reducing the vehicle’s carbon footprint in multiple respects—both in production and while driving.

With the use of secondary materials that have a carbon footprint of less than 0.16 kg of carbon per kilogram of aluminum, the wheel supplier has been able to reduce carbon emissions at its production facility by up to 75% compared to conventionally produced wheels. In concrete terms, this means carbon emissions falling from around 130 kg to around 30 kilograms.

The aerodynamic properties and lightweight design of the innovative alloy wheels also make a difference on the road, with the complete enclosure of the wheel exterior by the inlays significantly decreasing drag. The weight-optimized design reduces the unsprung masses of the vehicle as a whole, boosting efficiency and enabling the MINI Cooper SE Convertible to deliver the go-kart feel that is so typical of the brand.

Drivers of the MINI Cooper SE Convertible with recycled aluminum alloy wheels are part of a pilot project aimed at gradually reducing demand for primary raw materials. The alloy wheels on the MINI Cooper SE Convertible can also be fully recycled at the end of their lifecycle. Participating in this circularity enables the BMW Group to continually reduce the amount of aluminum that needs to be produced by means of an energy-intensive primary energy process.

Comments

mahonj

IMO, it doesn't matter where in the car you use recycled aluminium, as long as you use as much as possible.
It may be that certain parts of the vehicle need fancy AL alloys which need "virgin" aluminium in the alloys and can't use recycled AL, or it may not.
If anyone knows the answer to this, I would appreciate it.
The main thing is to use as little virgin AL as possible while creating the strongest, lightest vehicles.
+ 17.2kWh/100 km is nothing to shout about.
Maybe the fact that it is a convertible is making it worse than an equivalent saloon.

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