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BMW bets on new battery cells for a different class of EVs 

BMW will power a new class of electric vehicles with cylindrical battery cells manufactured in six factories by partners such as CATL and EVE Energy in China. 

Two plants each in Europe, China, and North America will produce round lithium-ion batteries that allow longer range and faster charging than the square batteries BMW currently uses, the car says. The manufacturer said in a statement on Friday. 

The technology is at about half the cost of a prismatic cell, will support BMW’s planned Neue Klass or “new class” of  this EV platform, and will follow Tesla, which has been using cylindrical cells for some time. 

It is said The automaker has already given CATL and EVE Energy billions of euros in orders to produce battery cells at its four factories in China and Europe. The company said it is looking for partners to build two more plants in the United States and Mexico. 

BMW said it would sign contracts for up to 20 GWh capacity at each of its six power plants.  

Frank Weber, BMW’s head of development, told reporters, “We’re approaching a giant leap forward in technology. He said it might also use lithium iron phosphate batteries, which it doesn’t need, but they have a lower energy density and are heavier than the new round cells. 

BMW round battery cells 2022

BMW’s new-generation battery uses more nickel and silicon than previous generations, and uses less cobalt, he said. 20% higher energy density, 30% faster charging, and 30% longer range by reducing. Weber says BMW’s supplier will use only renewable energy to build its batteries, using partially recycled cobalt, nickel, and lithium, reducing manufacturing-related CO2 emissions by up to 60%.

The decision is part of BMW’s strategy to buy the cells rather than participate in production, unlike the moves of Tesla and Volkswagen. 

BMW aims to gain momentum in the increasingly competitive EV market with a new class of vehicles scheduled to go into production in 2025. 

The battery is one of the largest cost drivers for electric vehicles, and improvements in technology typically result in better annual efficiency. Its inventories are under pressure from rising raw material prices, threatening the automaker’s expectations that he will soon be able to sell his EVs at margins similar to those of internal combustion locomotives. 

CATL said in a separate statement on Friday that two of its factories would supply BMW with batteries with the same diameter as Tesla’s 4680 cells. 

BMW has not disclosed how many batteries it plans to procure from EVE and CATL.  The new class family of electric vehicles will initially focus on midsize premium models such as his 3 Series. 

BMW’s shift highlights the growing momentum of the large cylindrical battery. 

The square prismatic battery has become the most popular automotive battery shape over the past two years as it can be packed more densely and saves costs. Proponents of cylindrical batteries, however, argue that higher energy densities have made newer large-format cells more cost-effective.

Get more information from the Press section of BMW here.

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