BMW bets on cylindrical battery cells for a new range of EVs from 2025

BMW bets on cylindrical battery cells for a new range of EVs from 2025

The German automaker has already placed multibillion-euro orders for CATL and EVE to make battery cells at four factories in China and Europe, it said on Friday, adding that it was looking for potential partners to build two additional plants in the United States and Mexico.

By adopting cylindrical cells, BMW departs from the prismatic cells it has used in its batteries until now, thus following the path chosen by Tesla with its 4680 cylindrical battery.

The new generation of BMW batteries will use more nickel and less silicon and cobalt, resulting in a 20% increase in energy density, 30% faster charging and 30% longer range than previous generations.

A spokesman for CATL, which has supplied BMW for a decade and is studying potential battery factory sites in the United States, told Reuters in May that it would begin supplying BMW’s cylinder cells from 2025, but the carmaker declined to comment at the time.

The news also confirmed a Reuters report in August that EVE, which supplies BMW in China, had signed a cylinder-cell deal with the German automaker.

BMW’s changes underline the growing pace of large cylinder batteries.

Prismatic batteries, which are rectangular in shape, have become the most common type of car battery over the past few years because they can be filled in larger quantities, helping to keep costs down.

But advocates of cylindrical batteries say the new, larger-format cells have become more cost-effective due to improvements in energy density.