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With plenty of electric vehicle concepts coming out of the 2021 Munich Auto Show, BMW took it a step further. Not necessarily just in the way of technology, but also further into the future. 19 years into the future to be exact. In 2040, BMW plans to release its i Vision Circular concept compact car. It is 100% made of recyclable materials. The vehicle is completely electric, so it’ll add to the growing BMW electric lineup. We’ll just have to wait a while to see this part of the expansion.

What we know about the BMW i Vision Circular concept

A BMW iVision Circular concept, rendered on a showroom floor
BMW iVision Circular Concept | BMW

The BMW i Vision Circular is a compact car with a hatchback body. It will be able to seat four passengers, and overall is very small. The main goal of the vehicle is to reduce components throughout so that only recyclable materials are used. Recycled plastic, aluminum, fabric, natural rubber, and a 3D-printed steering wheel make up the structure of the concept. BMW’s current smallest vehicle in the United States, the 2-series Gran Coupe, is 20 inches longer than the i Vision Circular concept.

Crystal sculptures and sound zones

Interior dashboard of the BMW iVision Circular concept recyclable vehicle
BMW iVision Circular Concept Interior | BMW

One of the most interesting things shown about the vehicle is the crystal dashboard interface. Presented in a “V” shape, BMW says the crystal sculpture displayed is meant to simulate the vehicle “thinking”. There are, what BMW is calling, “dedicated sound zones” for each seat. This means passengers can each listen to their own music-a possible look into the convenience of future Uber driving. Drivers can control the heads-up display which is the width of the entire windshield, using the crystals on the steering wheel. These are actually touchpads for the driver to use easily while steering.

How is the BMW i Vision Circular concept built?

A man develops the BMW iVision Circular concept vehicle, putting together seats from recycled materials
A Man Builds Seats From Recycled Materials For the BMW iVision Circular Concept Car | BMW

A unique color scheme covers the inside of the vehicle. The recycled upholstery that makes up the seats is a light pink-violet color, surrounded by door panels and flooring that is a minty green. The front seats are styled to seem like lounge chairs. The cabin is made up almost entirely of glass, giving the i Vision Circular the overarching front windshield. One of the most interesting things about the concept is how it is put together. Attempting to stay away from composite materials, the vehicle uses quick-release fasteners, press studs, and other technology to make it easy to break down. Does this mean no more crushing cars at the junkyard? Instead, old and out-of-service vehicles can be broken down, taken apart, and reused all over again.

BMW aims to continue boosting the number of recycled materials being used in its vehicles. Still a long way off from reaching 100%, planning shows BMW is taking steps toward reaching that goal today. This completely recyclable vehicle concept is a massive step in the right direction, as well as a statement from BMW. Just as automakers are announcing a new electric vehicle concept what seems like every day, upcycling could be next. BMW says that the i Vision Circular concept outlines the approach it needs to take to increase its current 30 percent of recycled materials in each vehicle. Though the concept seems so far out of reach right now, the ideas may lead to more reused materials in BMW vehicles much sooner than 2040.