If you’ve recycled your BMW i3 battery in the recent past, there’s a good chance you could catch it live in action one last time at Coldplay’s new tour. Yep — BMW and Coldplay are tag-teaming a solution to climate change, the auto manufacturer reports.
The Music Of The Spheres World Tour will be hitting different big cities around the world in the summer of 2022, and BMW helped build something special to commemorate the occasion. Instead of using diesel or gasoline generators to power the band’s equipment during the tour, BMW recycled over 40 i3 batteries and combined them into one massive, portable tour battery that can be recharged after each show. Battery refurbishing isn’t uncommon for EV manufacturers, but this marks the first-ever case of EV batteries being repurposed for a completely different line of work, according to the carmaker.
So, how does this battery get recharged? BMW has a variety of… interesting plans: solar power, generators powered by vegetable oil, power bikes, and a kinetic stadium floor. The last two are the most interesting, since they both harness the power of the fans who are showing up at the concert in order to recharge the band’s battery to bring to the next show — though it’s a little difficult to imagine anyone getting really hyped to mosh to Coldplay.
Experts have been wondering what to do with used electric vehicle batteries for a while now. Creating a battery uses a hell of a lot of rare ores and minerals, and just throwing spent batteries into a landfill is also pretty awful for the environment. Researchers and companies have been popping up to explore different ways that those precious materials can be retrieved and reused in future instances, be it in another electric vehicle or in another object powered by electricity.
Coldplay’s longstanding partnership with BMW — the band even dedicated a whole music video to promoting the i4 and iX — gave the auto company an interesting opportunity to try out a totally different use for recycled batteries.