More than 1000km of range ‘unnecessary’: BMW

BMW’s ‘Neue Klasse’ (New Class) vehicles are due to arrive in 2025, set to be the first vehicles from the company designed from the ground up to be electric. That means a brand-new platform and lots of fresh pieces of technology, including 46mm cylindrical battery cells instead of the flat, prismatic cells currently used.

These new batteries will give BMW EVs “30% or more” range than what’s available now, according to Thomas Albrecht, BMW’s head of Efficient Dynamics.

He told Autocar UK that this should put the Gen6 batteries at around 1000km of range, which is the max BMW will offer, “even though we can … We don’t think that such a long range is necessary.”

BMW EVs from 2025 will offer ranges approaching 1000km.

Nile Bijoux

BMW EVs from 2025 will offer ranges approaching 1000km.

Considering most combustion vehicles don’t break 1000km of range, that’s not the most outlandish thing to say. And, considering charging time with the new cells will also drop by up to 30% thanks to 800 volt fast charging support of up to 270kW, the pain of waiting an hour to charge your car will be vastly lessened.

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The Gen6 batteries will use a different chemistry as well as the new cell shape, leaning more on nickel than cobalt in an effort to reduce factory emissions, along with recycled materials and green power. BMW is going to build six new factories for its battery needs, with a CO2 production reduction goal of 60%.

The new batteries will have cylindrical cells, like Tesla.

Supplied

The new batteries will have cylindrical cells, like Tesla.

It will not shift to lithium iron phosphate in its battery construction, although the option remains open. No mention was made of solid state or other future battery designs, though BMW was tipped to have solid state test cells in early 2022.

Marie-Therese von Srbik, head of battery cell development at BMW, said: “We’re still aiming for a cyclical life with the metals in our batteries. We’ve even managed to achieve our first closed loop with one of our manufacturers in China.

“But overall it’s a very long loop. Batteries have a long life, and you have to think about a whole new industry in the meantime, but we can eventually get to a point where most if not all of the precious metals in our batteries can be from recycled sources. “

BMW will debut the new battery in the 2025 3 Series.

Supplied

BMW will debut the new battery in the 2025 3 Series.

More on BMW’s environmental plans will be divulged with the upcoming “battery carbon footprint declaration”, set to take effect from 2024.

Albrecht also gave a hint as to the longevity of the batteries, saying: “Legislation is coming in to further guarantee battery life. For instance, the US will require a minimum 80% battery performance after 10 years. We’re performing better than that. “

The first Neue Klasse cars will arrive in 2025, starting with an electric version of the 3 Series.