German EV Makers Are Getting Serious About Their Carbon Footprints

BMW and a group of battery builders plan to track the carbon footprints of their EV batteries. What else are German automakers doing to reduce environmental impact?
Written by Andrew Koole
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
May 9, 2022
It’s a well established fact that
electric vehicles
make less of an impact on the environment than gas and diesel powered models. But that doesn’t mean they’ve reached net-zero. The manufacturing process can be particularly destructive—especially in battery production.
Some might want to skirt around this issue, but in
Germany
, automakers and governments are tackling it head-on. 
Automakers and battery builders are banding together to develop a “battery passport” to trace each module’s carbon footprint, from raw material extraction to recycling and waste management.
Jerry
, your car ownership
super app
, took a closer look at the new project.

German EV consortium designed to adhere to upcoming EU rules

The move to electric vehicles in Europe is miles ahead of where we are in North America.
Tax credits
and incentives encouraged EV sales to spike dramatically across the continent, even surpassing the sale of traditional vehicles in some countries.
The success of EV adoption is in part thanks to the European Union, which is now setting its regulatory sights on electric vehicle production itself. A new, proposed bill would force EV makers to disclose their carbon footprint starting in 2024. 
BMW and its partners in the new consortium are developing the tracking system to meet the new regulations. 
But
Reuters
says the digital product could also improve the process of recycling the raw materials like
cobalt
and lithium in batteries, helping reduce environmental impact as well.

Germany is turning into a major EV producer

BMW might be the first German automaker to work toward tracking its ecological footprint, but it isn’t the only car company in the country trying to become more
eco-friendly
Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen both have aggressive goals for shifting their subbrands from internal combustion to battery power. By 2030, Mercedes hopes to completely transition into an electric car producer. 
The much bigger Volkswagen expects to do the same by 2040, and
Auto News
says the company also plans to build a new EV plant near its headquarters in Wolfsburg.
The new “Trinity” factory is in part a response to VW’s biggest electric car rival, Tesla, which opened a
new factory
near Berlin in March.

Prices for German-made EVs remain high

A lot has been done to try to lower the entry point for electric car ownership of the last few years. But all the other economic woes circling the globe right now have kept prices for EVs high. Models from BMW, Mercedes, and Volkswagen are no exception.
Mercedes EV offerings land firmly in the luxury segment, with a starting price of $103,360. The
VW ID.4
starts a much more comfortable $42,000, but with average
car insurance
sitting at $1,970 a year, it isn’t exactly an economical option.
That said, you can lower your premiums significantly by shopping for car insurance with Jerry. A licensed broker that offers end-to-end support, the Jerry app gathers affordable quotes, helps you switch plans, and can even help you cancel your old policy. 
The average
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Chubb
ClearCover
CSE
Dairyland
DirectAuto
Elephant Auto Insurance
Kemper
Libertymutual
Gainsco
Mapfre
Mercury Auto
Metromile
Nationwide
Plymouth Rock
Progressive
State Auto
Safeco
Travelers
Metlife
Bristol West

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