Next-generation electric vehicles from BMW are currently under development and are expected to hit the market in the middle of the decade. New batteries are one component of what the carmaker refers to as Neue Klasse (New Class), a new platform and family of new technologies that will provide up to 30% more range than BMW’s current models. After we discuss the stats, we’ll take a look at the company’s innovative battery technology.
BMW will debut its sixth generation of electric drive technology for the Neue Klasse, which will make use of new batteries. By transitioning to round cells specifically created for use in vehicles based on the Neue Klasse architecture, the Bavarian firm will radically alter the cell format and cell chemistry of its batteries. The prismatic cells currently used by BMW will be replaced by these new round cells.
The new battery cells will have a diameter of 46 millimeters and two distinct available heights depending on their application, according to the business. On the cathode side, the cell chemistry will have a higher concentration of nickel while having a lower concentration of cobalt. In response, the silicon content on the anode side will rise, and this new chemistry will produce a volumetric energy density that is more than 20% greater.
Neue Klasse will make a number of modifications, including the addition of an 800-volt electrical infrastructure that will improve the way energy is delivered to DC fast charging stations. BMW claims that this will result in a 30% reduction in charging times from 10% to 80%.
Speaking of charging, it’s also important to note that the company guarantees a 30 percent increase in range for its top-of-the-line vehicles thanks to upgraded batteries. Additionally, and possibly even more significantly, the manufacturer predicts a price reduction of up to 50% compared to existing fifth-generation batteries.
BMW will establish new battery manufacturing facilities in China and Europe with a combined annual capacity of up to 20 GWh in order to guarantee the supply of batteries required for Neue Klasse-based vehicles. In North America, two more cell factories will be constructed, although no partners have yet been named.
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