BMW will probably initially use its next vehicle platform “New Class” planned for 2025 for medium-sized models and exclusively with electric drive use. It used to be said that the architecture should be rolled out widely and also with the support of combustion engine technology. BMW could also reorient itself when it comes to battery technology.
According to a news agency report Bloomberg the group is considering switching to round cells in its battery systems. E-car industry leader Tesla has been using this type of battery for a long time. In its current electric cars, such as the iX and i4, BMW uses prismatic cells of various sizes. These are each encased in a cuboid housing and a protective layer and installed in modules. That could be different with the new class.
The new cells will be manufactured by BMW’s existing suppliers, reports Bloomberg citing unnamed sources. The group currently sources its batteries from CATL, Samsung SDI, Northvolt and EVE Energy. According to the sources, the design should help achieve a 30 percent cost reduction. The new round cells from BMW are also said to exceed the energy density of Tesla batteries by “at least a double-digit percentage”. Which round cell format and which cell chemistry favor the Munich, is not mentioned.
BMW already had in the past year announced the development of a new generation of batteries for the new class of electric cars. With the platform, the premium manufacturer is aiming for the level of modern combustion engines in terms of range and manufacturing costs. For the new, then sixth generation of electric drive technology, different cell formats, cell chemistries and also cell modules are being evaluated in the current development phase to design recyclable batteries,” emphasized the company.
BMW is also driving completely new battery technologies for its plans. In the medium to long term, the car manufacturer wants to use batteries with solid instead of liquid electrolyte. “We are intensively researching solid-state battery technology. By the end of the decade, we will have an automotive-grade solid-state battery for series use. We plan to show the first demonstrator vehicle with this technology well before 2025,” announced Frank Weber, Board Member for Development. Solid-state batteries are considered to be safer and more powerful overall than previous energy storage devices with liquid electrolyte.
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