IF you’ve seen the latest BMW X3 in traffic already you will be impressed to know it’s built at the automaker’s factory in Rosslyn, Pretoria. What you might not know is that 30% of the energy used to power the plant is sourced from renewable energy. In fact, globally, BMW says Plant Rosslyn will be 100% dependent on clean energy by the end of the year. It’s a tall task. As the first client of Bio2Watt, a sustainable energy company that supplies energy to the grid, BMW is well on its way to doing that. The automaker aims to be off the grid by 2020. First of its kind We toured the automaker’s factory as well as Bio2Watt’s facility in the Bronkhorstspruit area and despite it being smelly, it’s incredible to witness cow dung and food waste going through a process that ultimately results in green energy. BMW is attempting to offset its dependency on electricity and this certainly sends a strong signal to other manufacturing companies that sustainable energy can be achieved. The partnership between BMW and Bio2Watt is the first commercially viable bio-gas project.May it bear the fruit of many more projects for this amazing local company. X Lifestyle Park As the demand for SUVs around the world grows, BMW is in the process of building an area for customers to test their X models on a moderate 4x4 course, located in Waterfall Park, Midrand. Due to open in November, the 12-module course is 1,3 km long and has been developed to show off the automaker’s X-Drive system. The cost of the course is R2 750. Local media were given the chance to trial the course and Wheels24’s Sean Parker was impressed at the array of obstacles in place to best show off the four-wheel-drive system. It’s not a hardcore 4x4 course, but the challenges will provide customers with enough examples of how to wade through water, how to approach inclines and also how to use features like hill descent control.— Wheels 24.