Munich — The BMW Group is developing battery cells that go farther, are cheaper and are greener.
New lithium-ion cells will power BMW’s next-generation Neue Klasse electric vehicle.
According to the company, the so-called 6th generation battery under development at the BMW Group Battery Cell Center of Excellence will offer up to 30% more range than the current generation.
Simon Erhardt, head of sixth-generation development at the BMW Group, says the key to performance is the cylindrical shape of the battery cells.
Current BMW batteries feature prismatic cells made up of modules that are bolted together to form a pack, but the next-generation design is ditching the modules. Its new cell-to-pack design. allows more power packing cells to be packed into the same battery footprint. The Gen 6 battery has a diameter of 46 mm.
“The energy density is much higher than it used to be,” Erhardt told a group of journalists at a media briefing this week. “We can put more cells in the battery pack.”
Maximizing energy density also reduces battery weight and cost.
BMW said the new battery pack is 50% cheaper. This is essential to achieve price parity with internal combustion engine vehicles, as the battery pack accounts for approximately 40% of the cost of an electric vehicle.