BMW batteries electrify Coldplay concerts
World tour energized by solar, vegetable oil, and rock fans Metal Tech News – October 20, 2021
Last updated 10/26/2021 at 2:37pm
Luxury vehicle company BMW Group has turned renewable energy up to 11 by teaming up with legendary band Coldplay as part of their upcoming Music of the Spheres World Tour. This will be the world's first-ever mobile, rechargeable show, powered by the two partners' shared sustainability vision.
Following the successful hit "Higher Power" synced in the BMW i4/iX commercial and the British band's performance in the virtual world of BMW JOYTOPIA at the IAA Mobility in Munich, BMW will front the necessary electric power during the live performances with more than 40 recyclable car batteries, solar installations, a kinetic-energy stadium, power bikes, generators fueled with vegetable oil and more.
"We're proud to partner with BMW to create the world's first tourable, rechargeable show battery – which will allow us to power our concerts entirely from clean, renewable energy," said Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.
In the hopes to continue using EV batteries after the life of the vehicle has met its end, BMW plans to use partly recycled BMW i3 batteries in energy storage systems.
Something well known about batteries today is that they lose their juice after discharging and recharging numerous times, but what does that mean for batteries when they are in your car?
Much like a mobile phone that will not last a full day from 100% after years of use, an EV battery will begin to degrade and will not be capable of the same capacity it once was off the factory floor. Unfortunately, this is simply an inherent concern with lithium-ion batteries that many researchers and scientists are attempting to overcome.
So, while a new electric vehicle will likely come with a warranty, it is estimated that current EV batteries maintain an acceptable battery capacity after seven or eight years of use, with most manufacturers guaranteeing the battery will retain at least 70% of its original capacity.
Even though modern EV battery packs are designed to last up to 12 years and 1500-2000 charge cycles, that is long past the warranty period, and it is highly likely options or deals will become commonplace to get consumers to trade in their old EVs to continue to circulate those old batteries.
And, what is the best use for those batteries that have outlived their vehicles? Put them into battery storage farms, which is exactly what BMW is preparing by utilizing second-life batteries (batteries that no longer meet EV performance standards) from BMW i3 vehicles.
"A common awareness of sustainability has led during recent years to an intensive, creative co-creation process between BMW and Coldplay," said Jens Thiemer, senior vice president, customer and brand, BMW. "The campaign song, 'Higher Power,' marking the launch of our all-electric models BMW iX and BMW i4, as well as Coldplay's performance at BMWs virtual world of JOYTOPIA during the IAA Mobility, were the first major highlights of our successful cooperation. With the use of second-life batteries from BMW i3 vehicles we are now helping Coldplay's world tour become even more sustainable."
So, with energy storage for the power supply during live performances being provided by partly recycled second-life batteries – which will power the necessary super low emission electricity replacing diesel and gasoline generators – remaining auxiliary power will use a range of renewable sources, particularly the kinetic stadium floor, which will harness the collective power of the fans themselves.
The batteries are being tested as the first in the world to be designed specifically for second-life use, an essential part of the BMW Group's vision of sustainability and circular economy.
The IAA Mobility (the world's largest mobility trade show) in Munich in September, held under the motto "RE:IMAGINE TODAY," allowed BMW to showcase its newly created Metaverse JOYTOPIA, an entirely virtual performance by Coldplay. The band's show could be viewed online for 24 hours and was seen by more than 150,000 worldwide.
This successful collaboration between BMW and Coldplay has now been further extended, leading to a potentially new era for music. As a partner and supplier of renewable energy technologies, BMW will support the famed band to achieve the goal of becoming the first sustainable rock band. This cooperation is a game-changer and could become the blueprint for the future of the entire live industry.