The BMW Group is investing in lithium technology start-up Lilac Solutions to support more efficient and environmentally-friendly ways to produce the raw material for electric vehicles (EVs).
Lilac Solutions has developed and patented an ion exchange technology that is expected to significantly improve efficiency, costs and sustainability by extracting lithium from brine resources, which are natural deposits of salt water.
The company seeks to significantly reduce environmental impact compared to conventional methods while protecting local communities and ecosystems.
The technology has already been proven in initial field pilots and will now demonstrate it can be scaled and industrialised.
The car manufacturer is investing in Lilac Solutions through its venture capital fund, BMW i Ventures, to support its expansion of electromobility as it aims to release around 10 million fully-electric vehicles onto the roads over the next 10 years.
By 2030, at least half of BMW’s global sales are expected to come from fully-electric vehicles.
Wolfgang Obermaier, Senior Vice President Indirect Goods and Services, Raw Materials, Production Partners at the BMW Group said: “Innovative technologies provide better, more sustainable and more efficient access to raw materials. By investing in startups, we are speeding up development of new technologies, stimulating competition and providing impetus that will make it easier for young companies to access the market.
“By investing in Lilac Solutions, we are supporting technological progress in the field of lithium extraction, with a focus on responsible and sustainable methods.”