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Future BMW electric cars will be powered by cow poop

In California, BMW is partnering to use methane from cow dung to power EV charging.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2019 BMW i3 in California

Poo is the new renewable fuel.


The dawn of a new era for manure is approaching in California. With help from BMW, cow poop will help fuel electric car charging in the state.

BMW said on Wednesday that its partnership with California's Straus Organic Dairy Farm will see methane gas from cow manure turned into clean energy. The two will install a methane biodigester in Marshall, California that will be responsible for capturing methane from cow manure, and send it the power grid as renewable energy. Otherwise, the methane gas would sit in Earth's atmosphere -- a known contributor to the greenhouse gas problem.

Cow pies aren't just for mulch anymore, it seems.

The strategy is a one-two punch that BMW said will help deliver extraordinarily efficient electric cars. Not only will its EVs produce zero emissions while driving, but cleaner energy for the grid will help keep charging sustainable, too. Charging electric cars becomes a bigger problem when the electricity used still comes from power sources burning fossil fuels, after all.

The luxury automaker said it expects more of these kinds of partnerships to crop up in the near future, and eventually, thinks they'll power every electric car it sells in California. BMW already operates its ChargeForward program, which works to use as much solar energy as possible to charge EVs in the San Francisco area.

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