BMW to use new ’round’ battery cells, increase range by 30%

Alexi Falson

BMW has given us a technical run-down of its latest developments for lithium-ion cells, saying its sixth-generation ’round’ cells are set to offer up dramatic increases in energy density, charging speeds and driving range.

Headlining the new battery technology is a 20 per cent increase in the energy density of its cells, and a 30 per cent increase for both charging times and all-electric driving range.

The latest generation batteries are developed to support up to 800-volt fast charging that can dramatically decrease the amount of time it takes to charge the pack.

To make the new design a feasible mass-production reality, BMW has awarded a pair of two-billion-euro contracts to help shore up its supply of lithium and its production line to make the rounded cells.

BMW has also announced plans to build six battery cell factories in North America, China and Europe, each of which is aimed at producing around 60GWh of lithium-ion cells per year. BMW AG board member responsible for development, Frank Weber, 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 per cent, improve charging speed by up to 30 per cent and enhance the range by up to 30 per cent.”

The first of BMW’s ‘Neue Klasse’ vehicles to be fitted with the sixth-generation rounded battery cells is scheduled to the hit the market from 2025. A “demonstrator vehicle” will showcase the technology “well before” 2025.

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