Today’s Vegan Friendly Find – The BMW i3 car!

***Update since writing this I have discovered in the comments that the i3 has a leather steering wheel as standard – Although I’m sure it would be possible to pay extra and get a non-leather one installed***

Today’s Vegan Friendly Find is the new BMW i3 –

20140222-214941.jpg

Ok, so driving is one of the many arguably non vegan things that many vegans do… and no I’m not talking about its impact on the environment.

Everything from the leather seats, plastic car dashboards, glue used in the doors, the tyres, everything. When you break it all down its just as jam-packed with animal as a Big Mac!

Unfortunately though, like many things we do – unless you want to live a Little House on the Prairie type Amish existence, you’re gonna drive.

(Please note unless you can TRULY pull off a bonnet I highly discourage the Amish existence you’re now contemplating)

20140222-214755.jpg

So PUT DOWN THE BONNET! As we can all give a huge sigh of relief because BMW have made a 100% vegan car!

The i3 model – which looks to me like a Smartcar mixed with a painting by Pablo Picasso – is bursting onto our forecourts this year, first Australia, then Europe – hopefully USA and the rest of the world after.

Ok I’m going to point out RIGHT NOW that I cant drive. So I’m not going to break down the ‘Specs’. However I am going to point out what makes it Vegan and also mention that I fully intend to buy this car – once I save up that $60,000 and learn to drive (It might take a while!)

According to the official BMW press release, the plug-in electric i3 has been called the ‘greenest car in the world’. With the amazing Green manufacturing, apparently when the car is eventually taken out of service, it can be recycled.

“The material for our carbon fiber-reinforced plastics is produced in our plant in Moses Lake, Washington, where the energy that’s being used is 100 percent hydro-electric power,” said BMW Spokesman Jose Guerrero. “And also the assembly of the car in Leipzig, Germany, that’s also being powered by four on-site wind turbines.”

“Right now we’re 95 percent recyclable, so the car itself is very sustainable, and very renewable,” said Guerrero.

“Particularly the batteries that power the electric motor, sometimes thought of as being an environmental hazard. They can be re-purposed when they’re no longer sufficient for vehicle use.”

Chief interior designer Daniel Starke said: “We always had a discussion what to do with people who go that far that they are vegan, or don’t want to have any animal products. We wanted to offer them a good possibility to drive a good elegant product without any animal products.” Starke said even the kenaf, an Indonesian fibre used in the interior, was chosen partly because it grows in monsoon areas “so it doesn’t take away space from growing plants to eat”.

Now what I’m really excited about is the fact that the vegan movement is literally making massive corporations like BMW question their ethics and bend their products to our needs.

I’m emailing BMW now however to check what tyres they use, and where they source their LCD screens from as many computer companies use animal products in the ink used. As well as the fact the official i3 trailer mentions ‘leather seats’ – http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oWDx_JURl-w

However. Saying all that, this is going to the extreme for the research of this blog, and I will be also showing my support for them in this email for making the car, and hope you all do too.

By supporting such a bold move we can only hope other companies follow the lead and realise we are here, we expect them to care, and we will support companies that do.

Now just to find $60,000 – anyone want a kidney?

20140222-214917.jpg

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6 thoughts on “Today’s Vegan Friendly Find – The BMW i3 car!

  1. Hi,

    We are ethical vegans and were considering an i3 as our next eletric car (we currently drive a 2012 Nisan LEAF) but got disappointed with the official answer from BMW:

    —– Forwarded Message —–
    From: “BMWiConcierge@bmwusa.com”
    To: [REMOVED]
    Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 8:26 AM
    Subject: Your BMW i Correspondence [1-3741739515]

    Dear Alex & Natalia,

    Thank you for contacting BMW i Concierge regarding interior options in the BMW i3.

    Currently, leather is used on the interior seating and is the only option for all i3 Worlds. The leather used in the interior is tanned with a natural tanning agent derived from olive leaves. The extract from the leaves of the olive tree protects the leather in a natural way – giving it both an authentic, unaltered look and an unmistakable character. I will forward your inquiry to the appropriate department so the company can monitor consumer demand and will evaluate the possibility of offering the option to US customers in the future.

    The BMW i Concierge team is available Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., ET. You can reach us at 1-855-236-1025.
    BMW i. FUELED BY INNOVATION.

    Sincerely,

    Kyle Baker
    BMW i Concierge Specialist

    —–Original Message—–

    From: Customer.Service@bmw.com
    Sent: 6/24/2014 12:00:00 AM
    To: BMWiConcierge@bmwusa.com
    Subject: AW: BMW i3: Is it vegan?

    Dear colleagues,

    Please take over request below. Thank you very much for your assistance.

    Best regards,
    BMW Customer Service Team

    ——————————————————————
    Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft
    Board of Management: Norbert Reithofer, Chairman,
    Milagros Cai?a Carreiro-Andree, Herbert Diess,
    Klaus Draeger, Friedrich Eichiner, Harald Krueger,
    Ian Robertson, Peter Schwarzenbauer
    Chairman of the Supervisory Board: Joachim Milberg
    Registered in: Munich HRB 42243
    ——————————————————————

    ________________________________
    Von: [REMOVED]
    Gesendet: Freitag, 20. Juni 2014 13:40
    An: BMW Customer Service
    Betreff: Re: AW: BMW i3: Is it vegan?

    We live in the USA.

    On Jun 20, 2014, at 5:29 AM, BMW Customer Service <Customer.Service@bmw.com> wrote:

    Dear Mr and Ms Rocha Ura,

    Thank you for your message.

    Please send us your country of residence. We will then be able to forward your request to the relevant department.

    Best regards,
    BMW Customer Service Team

    ——————————————————————
    Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft
    Board of Management: Norbert Reithofer, Chairman,
    Milagros Cai?a Carreiro-Andree, Herbert Diess,
    Klaus Draeger, Friedrich Eichiner, Harald Krueger,
    Ian Robertson, Peter Schwarzenbauer
    Chairman of the Supervisory Board: Joachim Milberg
    Registered in: Munich HRB 42243
    ——————————————————————

    ________________________________________
    Von: [REMOVED]
    Gesendet: Freitag, 20. Juni 2014 08:02
    An: BMW Customer Service
    Betreff: BMW i3: Is it vegan?

    Hello,

    Is it possible to buy a BMW i3 without any animal products (no leather, no wool in the interior) ?!?

    We are ethical vegans and our Nissan LEAF lease will expire in March 2015, so we are considering the i3 as an option…

    Please let us know.

    Thanks,
    Alex & Natalia

    • Hi Alex,

      Thanks for the reply and info! – Sorry I haven’t replied sooner!

      I will update the blog to include this! — This is crazy! Especially as the company released a press statement saying it would be a vegan car!

      Did they say you could pay extra to customize the car on the factory floor when buying? As that’s how you usually veganise these things unfortunately. It’s all down to money 😦

      • Hi,

        No, they didn’t say anything about customizing the car on the factory…

        But after my message to you, I took another look at the printed brochure that I got from my local dealer here in Huntsville AL and noticed some conflict of information with their first response.

        So I sent a new email and confirmed that we can buy an i3 with “SensaTec” (100% recycled polyster) in the seats. However, the bad news is that the steering wheel will be always leather from animals, like the current Nissan LEAF (I’m glad that my 2012 LEAF still has the steering wheel with no animal products).

        See my question and their new answer below.

        Let me know if you have any other questions.

        Peace to All Beings.

        Alex

        =======================================================================
        —– Forwarded Message —–
        From: “BMWiConcierge@bmwusa.com”
        To: alexura@yahoo.com
        Sent: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 4:31 PM
        Subject: Your BMW i Correspondence [1-3741739515]

        Hi Alex & Natalia,

        Thank you for responding to BMW i Concierge.

        The SensaTec material is 100% recycled polyster used in interior fabrics and textiles. The steering wheel in the Mega World, however, is made of leather.

        The BMW i Concierge team is available Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., ET. You can reach us at 1-855-236-1025.

        BMW i. FUELED BY INNOVATION.

        Sincerely,

        Kyle Baker
        BMW i Concierge Specialist

        —–Original Message—–

        From: alexura@yahoo.com
        Sent: 6/25/2014 12:00:00 AM
        To: “BMWiConcierge@bmwusa.com”
        Cc: Natalia Ura
        Subject: Your BMW i Correspondence [1-3741739515]

        Hello Kyle,

        We took another look at the official brochure that the sales person gave us last Saturday and it says for the **Mega** World interior:

        “Carum Spice Gray SENSATEC” and “Carum Spice Gray CLOTH”

        So what exactly is this SensaTec material?

        Note: “Natural Leather” and “Wool Cloth” (NOT vegan of course) is only mentioned for the **Giga** World and **Tera** World (Full Natural Leather for the latter).

        Also, thanks for forwarding the inquiry because this is a real blocker for us. In the meantime, we have no choice other than getting a new 2014 Nissan LEAF SV which comes with cloth seats (unless you say that Mega World’s SensaTec is actually made from non-animal products).

        We also sent an email to Tesla Motors telling them to at least offer one option of the upcoming 3rd generation/more affordable electric car with NO animal products so vegans can buy. Actually they already have the base Model S with cloth seats, but the price is above our budget for the moment.

        Please clarify on the question above (what is SensaTec).

        Alex & Natalia
        =======================================================================

  2. cars aren’t vegan. The tires likely have stearic acid in them, the rubber is generally vulcanized with animal fats, and the wax on the car very well might be beeswax-based. When you drive the car, it’ll be used on roads that are paved with asphalt with glycerin in it, which is generally made from animal tallow.

    • Hi Popimages – thanks for the feedback. My blog aims to help people make the most vegan choice available to them and this car has been designed towards being a more ethical choice. I understand that nothing in this world is 100% animal free, but I’m raising awareness on company’s who are providing options.

      • Have you watched the latest Tesla Shareholder Meeting?

        Not only one, but 3 different shareholders brought the leather issue to the table (the recap is below). And guess what… They even brought DVD copies of “Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret” to give to Elon Musk and others.

        This is still being highlighted on several other articles like this one from Business Insider:

        http://finance.yahoo.com/news/tesla-deliver-something-many-competitors-220712123.html

        I’m also glad that the famous vegan race car driver Leilani Munter was expressing her concerns to Tesla way before this, and she managed to get her Model S with vegan interior (like the couple seen on the recap below).

        Best,
        Alex

        PS: Now I’m even more anxious for the Model 3 🙂

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