As part of its electro-mobility strategy, BMW Group has announced a new Battery Cell Competence Centre in Munich with a symbolic ground-breaking ceremony. The competence centre aims to advance battery cell technology. A total investment of €200 million will be made in the location over the next 4 years, creating 200 jobs, and is expected to be operational by early 2019.
At the centre, the specialists will analyze cell design and cell technology. They will also create prototypes of future battery cells, focusing on the chemical composition of the cells, use of different materials, how the cell behaves in critical or extremely cold conditions, charging and rapid-charging behavior and evaluating cell sizes and forms. The Group also aims to win contracts for the production of battery cells.
5th generation electric drivetrains from 2021:
BMW said that the company is already developing the 5th generation of its electric drivetrain, for release in 2021. BMW’s future electric drive combines electric motor, transmission and power electronics in a new and separate electric-drive component. Thanks to the compact design, the new component takes up significantly less space than the three separate components used in previous generations.
Its modular concept means that it is also scalable and can be modified for a wide range of different packages and performance levels, increasing flexibility and making it easier to install the new electric drivetrain component in different vehicle derivatives. Integrating the electric motor, transmission and power electronics into a single component uses fewer parts and therefore saves costs.
A further highlight is that the new electric motor does not require the use of rare earths, apparently, making the company no longer dependent on their availability.
The 5th generation electric drivetrain also uses new, more powerful batteries. Their scalable, modular design enables them to be used flexibly in the respective vehicle architecture at different production sites. The new electric drivetrain extends the range of pure battery-electric vehicles to up to 700 km. In plug-in hybrid models, distances up to 100 km are possible, the company said.
Thanks to the scalable electric modular systems, from 2020 it will be possible to fit all model series with any drivetrain, according to demand. The 5th generation electric drivetrain promises high levels of driving performance and good range with much less weight. It will be integrated into both front and rear-wheel drive flexible enhanced vehicle architectures, which will also be suitable for all drive forms. BMW said, this flexibility means the company will be able to meet the predicted demand for several hundred thousand electrified vehicles in 2025.