The automaker’s production chief told reporters that BMW is exploring new solar, hydrogen, and geothermal energy investments to lower its reliance on natural gas.
BMW’s production chief, Milan Nedeljkovic, warned that an embargo on Russian natural gas would bring the automotive sector to a standstill.
BMW, which relied on natural gas for 54% of its total energy consumption in 2021, is developing plans with local German authorities to transport hydrogen to its plant in Leipzig and observing where it could add solar panels to its factories.
Nedeljokic said hydrogen was well-suited to lower or even fully compensate for gas demands. He added that the German automotive industry accounts for nearly 37% of natural gas consumption in the country. When asked what would happen to BMW’s manufacturing plants if the gas deliveries from Russia were to stop, Nedeljkovic said that BMW’s entire industry in Germany would come to a standstill.
The German automotive major, BMW, plans more comprehensive preparations underway across the nation’s industry to shift away from Russian gas and develop a system to ration available supplies in the event of a sudden halt to deliveries.
Apart from Germany, a new plant in Debrecen, Hungary, which BMW says will be the world’s first automobile plant to run entirely without fossil fuels, will rely primarily on solar energy.