FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German carmaker BMW on Tuesday said its electric cars will use battery cells produced using renewable energy, a step which will compel the biggest suppliers to source more non-coal generated electricity.
"We now have a contractual agreement with our cell manufacturers that they will use only green power to produce our fifth generation battery cells," BMW Chief Executive Oliver Zipse said on an interview published on the company's website.
Last year, BMW ordered more than 10 billion euros' ($11.07 billion) worth of battery cells from Chinese battery cell maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co (CATL) and Samsung SDI.
CATL is building a battery cell production plant in Erfurt, Germany, and has said it aims to produce 60 gigawatt hours (GWh) worth of cells a year from 2026 onwards.
BMW is preparing to launch the electric BMW iX3 this year, and the BMW iNEXT and BMW i4 next year.
As production volumes of electric BMW cars increase, the use of green power will save around 10 million tonnes of CO2 over the next decade, BMW said, adding that this is equivalent to the annual carbon dioxide emissions produced by a city of over a million inhabitants.
(Reporting by Edward Taylor)