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BMW developing solid-state battery technology for EVs

February 14, 2017

The future of BMW’s electric cars is expected to benefit from a quantum leap forward in battery technology in about nine years from now.

Autocar reports that new solid-state batteries will boost capacity by 15-20 per cent, which means higher energy density than today’s liquid electrolyte batteries. The solid-state items will still utilise lithium-ion technology but swap the liquid electrolyte for a solid one. Other benefits are said to include decreased fire risk.

The Bavarian firm will launch electric versions of the MINI Cooper and X3 before the end of the decade, after some optimisation of their existing battery tech (current eDrive battery pictured). The ‘iNext’ autonomous car will debut in 2021.

Despite the surging trend towards electric vehicles, the firm expects internal combustion to remain prevalent right up until 2030, as espoused by BMW’s sales and marketing head Ian Robertson. He is quoted as saying:

“The internal combustion engine has a long way to go. We will improve the efficiency and mate them to electric vehicles in many cases. Plug-in cars are faster, quieter and better accelerating but set new benchmarks for CO2 and economy. It’s all moving in that direction for legislation. We will drive to improve [engines] alongside electric powertrains.”

The solid-state technology is said to be in development now, with market entry set to commence in 2026.

Mitchell is a contributing journalist and features writer at PerformanceDrive. He has been a passionate petrol-head from a very young age. He is excited by the future of the industry, and considers himself as a bit of a fanatic when it comes to the technical aspects of cars. He is also fascinated by new cars that are popping up in developing markets.