BMW has always been unique in that it’s never afraid to revolutionise the business. Its latest venture is not only testament of that, but is also one that might finally spearhead the cause for reducing carbon footprint in the industry. 

The market now might be saturated with hybrid cars, but BMW — more specifically, its upgraded Plant Rosslyn in South Africa — want to take eco-friendliness to the next level by working with Bio2Watt. The biogas plant in Bronkhorstspruit is located on the premises of one of South Africa’s larger feedlots, and will virtually rely on 25,000 cows to power almost 30 percent of the X3’s dedicated production plant with green energy. 

Cattle manure are converted into green energy at Bio2Watt’s plant.

Here, almost 40,000 tons of cattle manure and 20,000 tons of mixed organic waste by suppliers such as the neighbouring City of Tshwane gets processed by two anaerobic digesters yearly, which produces biogas that is later transformed into electricity. Interestingly, Pretoria’s Plant Rosslyn hopes to be fully dependent on renewable sources while meeting the demands of the X3 by the end of this year, and will most likely be an important case study towards the brand’s 2020 deadline for all production locations to transition to fully renewable electricity supplies.

The war against a greener earth over the past decade has seen the automobiles being called out relentlessly for their carbon footprint, but few have realised that a far better long-term solution is to rethink production instead. Companies such as Volkswagen, Ford and General Motors now also invest in projects that range from being experimental to full scale, hoping to meet tightening regulatory pressures from governments.

Yet it’s really the consumers they have to convince, and BMW knows its target audience. Sustainability has always been integral to millennials, and Bio2Watt will surely be a big step in changing the mindsets of the eco-obsessed. It only makes sense that as firms develop environmentally-friendly cars, the process of manufacturing them are just as alternative.  

The unsurprising stench aside, Bio2Watt is perhaps the most efficient way of creating energy in the country. As a carbon neutral power source, the technology will help reduce air pollution and acid rain, further protecting the forestry and massive agriculture industry in South Africa. 

The Bio2Watt plant in South Africa.

Besides, Bio2Watt ingeniously tackles two of Africa’s biggest problems — waste disposal and electricity supply. Energy has always been a challenge to the poverty-inflicted state, and Bio2Watt will finally enable thousands of its natives to finally be able to afford electricity, especially as costs of traditional fossil fuel-derived power gets increasingly inflated. 

Talk about adding a whole lot more meaning to the very car that was created to explore the beautiful expanse of the country.

Shatricia Nair
Deputy Editor
Shatricia Nair is a motoring, watches, and wellness writer who is perpetually knee-deep in the world of V8s, tourbillons, and the latest fitness trends. She is fuelled by peanut butter and three cups of coffee a day.