German auto maker BMW has unveiled its new Battery Cell Competence Centre which pools the company’s many years of experience to advance electric vehicle battery cell technology.
In unveiling the new Competence Centre in Munich, BMW also laid out plans to double the energy density of its battery cells by 2030, subsequently doubling the operating range of its vehicles.
BMS’s chairman Oliver Zipse told media and Bavarian state premier Dr Markus Söder that the new Centre would put the company “in an enviable position” in the global race to optimise electric vehicle performance.
“Taking the technology currently in the BMW i3 as a basis, by 2030 we will be able to double the energy density of our battery cells – and therefore also the operating range of the vehicles for our customers.
“Battery cell technology is a key success factor in our electric vehicle offensive, as it influences both operational performance and battery costs,” Zipse said.
“Our unrivalled expertise throughout the value chain ensures we are always at the cutting edge of technology. We can specify the exact formats we want to procure, as well as the materials and the conditions involved. As a result, we are ideally positioned to drive forward the rollout of our electrified vehicles.”
The Competence Centre covers the entire value chain of battery cell technology – from research and development to a cell’s composition and design, and its suitability for large-scale manufacture.
The automaker said it would enable complete, transparent, and sustainable development of battery cells with consideration of end-of-life recycling built in from the outset.
In terms of R&D, the focus would be on customer-relevant aspects, BMW said, including improving energy density, available peak output, service life, safety, charging characteristics and performance at varying temperatures, and reducing battery costs.
The Centre is also investigating new and innovative materials which could help create more efficient batteries.
Built on investment of €200 million (AU$325 million), the Competence Centre will provide 200 jobs and develop key skills in BMW’s employment chain to help shape the future of the car maker’s electric mobility plans.
“The Joint Works Council has been committed to the Battery Cell Competence Centre from the outset,” said Stefan Schmid, Deputy Chairman of the Joint Works Council at BMW AG.
“The employee representatives at the BMW Group are actively involved in shaping these future-focused areas of the automotive industry, with the aim of developing the specific expertise of our employees within the company – and in so doing securing jobs for the long term during the process of transformation.”