Concept cars are often a way for automakers to showcase upcoming vehicles, but at the IAA Mobility 2021 conference, BMW is taking a more eccentric path.
The concept i Vision Circular EV of the automaker is a highly futuristic vehicle both inside and out and a preview of BMW's dream of a fully recyclable electric vehicle. A dream that for the house in Munich is “far away but not too much”: year 2040.
The i Vision Circular is a vehicle that at least on the outside appears relatively small (smaller than a 2 series. Translated in size, less than 4 meters or 157 inches). Inside, however, this "recyclable" contraption is quite spacious. The credit goes to a smaller and lighter solid-state battery. We can discuss about tastes: it gives me hives, but its aerodynamics are still interesting, with a curious alternation of sinuous lines and geometric contours.
The kitschy look is also accommodated: the gold-colored anodized finish turns to an electric blue (it should be said) towards the rear of the vehicle.
A 100% recyclable electric vehicle
The most important thing about this concept, however, is its mechanics. BMW avoided using composite materials and bonded connections to make the electric vehicle more recyclable at the end of its life. How recyclable? Much. The Vision Circular Concept EV is built mainly with recycled aluminum and uses quick release fasteners, press studs and cords, all elements that can be easily removed at the end of their life.
In summary, the i Vision Circular is 100% recyclable according to BMW.
On the other hand it is strange strong
If you think the exterior of this vehicle is far-fetched, wait until you look inside. The seats in this concept use a recycled and recyclable material similar to crushed velvet, with a pink-purple and light mint green color for the door panels and dashboard. Aside from the rear side panels, the cabin is mostly glass, including the steeply sloping windshield and roof.
This brings us to the V-shaped dashboard: it looks like someone sprayed blue liquid metal on it. In fact, it's a 3D printed crystal sculpture that uses lighting to simulate the vehicle's "thinking", according to BMW. Meanwhile, driver information is displayed on a heads-up display across the full width of the windshield, while control is via a pair of steering wheel-mounted touchpads with the same crystal appearance.
Each seat has its own "dedicated sound zone" that allows passengers to listen to their own music - a notable but rather antisocial technical touch.