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06 Oct 2022

BMW’s next generation EV batteries to be 50 per cent cheaper than current units

BMW’s next generation EV batteries to be 50 per cent cheaper than current units

BMW says the cost of its next generation electric car batteries will be reduced by 50 per cent as the firm progresses development of its upcoming EVs.

The German firm is working on the development of its ‘Gen 6’ EV batteries, which are due to be launched in 2025 with its ‘Neue Klasse’ – an important new electric car platform that signals the next phase of its EVs.

Currently on its Gen 5 electric cars, BMW says the battery makes up 40 per cent of the total vehicle cost, so the firm is very keen to reduce that as the firm “believes EVs should be available to anyone,” says Marie-Therese v. Srbik, head of battery cell development at BMW.

Thanks to improvements in battery cells, BMW expects to reduce the cost of a battery by 50 per cent (at a pack level), while also reducing the time needed to charge by 30 per cent. Similarly, the firm expects a 30 per cent mileage increase from a full charge of a battery, though BMW stressed that it was ‘optimising real-world range rather than WLTP numbers’.

BMW says it will have two different battery cell formats – one for saloons and one for SUVs – showcasing the bodystyles that it will prioritise for EVs.

With the firm also looking to improve its sustainability, it will increase the nickel content in its batteries while reducing the amount of cobalt used, which will help to reduce the amount of CO2 involved in producing a battery.

Frank Weber, head of sustainability at BMW, said: “The newly-developed sixth generation of our lithium-ion cells will bring a huge leap in technology that will increase energy density by more than 20 percent, improve charging speed by up to 30 percent and enhance range by up to 30 percent.

“We are also reducing CO2 emissions from cell production by up to 60 percent. These are big steps for sustainability and customer benefits.”

On the subject of sustainability, BMW is looking to create vegan interiors by phasing out leather from selected models. The next-generation Mini Countryman, due in 2023, is set to be one of the first models to offer a vegan-friendly cabin.

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