Pilot project glass recycling

Various VW models have been built at Volkswagen Sachsen in Zwickau since 1990. Over the past years, the site has been converted for the production of electric vehicles and thus into a net carbon-neutral multi-brand plant. Production of the fully electric Audi Q4 e-tron SUV started in March 2021, followed by the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron in summer.

The production in Zwickau also represents a return to the roots of the Four Rings, because the birthplace of the company is in Saxony: when he needed to expand his operation, company founder August Horch went to Zwickau, where he registered the company “A. Horch Motorenwagenwerke AG” in 1904. That laid the foundation for car manufacturing in Saxony.

Pilot project for glass recycling

In 2022, Audi and its partner companies launched a pilot project for recycling old car windows. The aim of the project is to reuse damaged car glass as a valuable material for series production. In a multi-stage process, the car windows are first broken into small pieces using an innovative recycling process. The partner companies then eliminate all non-glass impurities like glue residue. The resulting glass granulate is melted down and turned into new plate glass, which is in turn used to make new car windows. If this pilot is successful, the windows that are produced this way will be used in models in the Audi Q4 e-tron series in the future. Together with its partner companies, Audi is taking up the challenge of establishing a net closed material cycle1 for car glass with this pilot project. The plan is part of Audi’s circular economy strategy.

1Audi saved more than 480,000 metric tons of CO₂ equivalents (CO2e) in its supply chain in 2021. CO2e is a unit of measurement for standardizing the climate impact of various greenhouse gases. Here, greenhouse gas emissions are converted into CO₂ equivalents and summed up. The described emissions savings in the Audi supply chain in 2021 resulted, among other things, from using green electricity in HV battery cell production as well as closing the material cycle for aluminum and subsequent reuse of this metal. The emissions savings in the Audi supply chain in 2021 would not have been possible without these measures.