Audi plans to reduce water consumption in manufacturing by 50% by 2035
German luxury carmaker Audi has announced its plan to reduce the consumption of fresh water and the volume of water used per vehicle manufacturing by 50% by 2035, as part of its 'Mission: Zero' environmental program.
Peter Kössler, board member for production and logistics at Audi has said that the company is already using recycled water that has been used multiple times in the cycle and treated. "Wherever possible, we are already using recycled water that has been used multiple times in the cycle and treated. Our vision is to have closed water cycles at all our production sites," he further said.
Kössler also said that the company aims to increase the use of rainwater at its production facilities over the next couple of years. This will result in stopping the drinking water use in vehicle production.
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Audi aims to establish a closed water cycle between the plant and the neighboring municipal treatment facility of the Unteres Sulmtal wastewater association at its Neckarsulm site.
As the luxury carmaker claims, before the cycle and the associated construction of a new water supply facility can commence, it is testing the procedure with a pilot facility. The water that returns from the treatment plant is fed into a container in the northern part of the plant premises, where it is treated for reuse in production by means of filter systems and membranes. The water quality is checked continuously throughout the process.
There is a dedicated laboratory to test the treated water as well. If the tests in the laboratory are successful, construction of the new water supply facility will start in 2022, and the plant will close this water cycle from 2025.
The luxury carmaker also claims that its Mexico production facility is the first site across the world to produce vehicles without any wastewater since 2018. The plant uses treated water as service water, reuses it in production, or uses it to water the green spaces on the plant premises.
As the automaker claims, in an attempt to prioritise water conservation measures in a targeted manner, it uses a site-specific water value that puts the water consumption at the locations in relation to regional availability. Taking the regional circumstances into account, the process allows the measures required to be implemented in areas where water is particularly valuable. Audi claims that this way, the ecologically weighted water consumption in vehicle production can be reduced from an average of around 3.75 cum to around 1.75 cum per car produced car by 2035.