What will electric BMWs be made of?  Here is the beginning of the answer

What will electric BMWs be made of? Here is the beginning of the answer


Apart from the i3 (and to a lesser extent from the iX), BMW has never developed a dedicated platform for an electric model. Each time, they were developed on the basis of already existing models and platforms. In this case, today, the technical basis of “CLAR”, suitable for fuel, hybrid and electric. But that will change soon since The Bavarian company is working on its “Neue Klasse”. a new line of zero-emission models that will take BMW into the all-electric era, even if the group is one of the more cautious of the three “big”: if Audi and Mercedes have announced the dates of the end of combustion. , BMW remains more sensible. The group is committed to targeting 50% of sales in BEVs from 2030.

Also read: Interview: “The lithium-ion battery still has a future in Mercedes electric cars”

Today, BMW is unveiling some of the features that will be found on these future electric devices. Batteries, of course, but not just any batteries: they will no longer have cells in a prismatic format as it was until now (cells placed in solid structures), but in a cylindrical format. An arrangement that is increasingly being imitated within the automotive industry, although it does not only offer advantages over prismatics, which are shorter and lighter. But the biggest advantage of cylindrical cells is their cost! It is actually much easier to make. Moreover, it is nothing but the detail, series or parallel assembly of these cells that have a small battery shape makes it possible to reduce the effects of wear. If a cylindrical cell fails, the impact on the entire battery will be minimal, unlike prismatic cells. And then, Cylindrical cells offer more control possibilities with BMS (Battery Management System). Prismatics, mounted, are more difficult to track and more sensitive.

A huge advantage of autonomy for the electric BMWs of the future

We will have to wait until 2025 to discover the next generation of electric BMWs. In the meantime, you can go back to the latest iX1.©BMW

In total, BMW announces that it has 120 GWh of battery equivalent per year, with six partners (two in Europe, two in China and two in America). We told you about it, switching to cylindrical cells will reduce costs. But BMW directly advertises a 50% reduction compared to the fifth-generation electric, i.e. currently offered models such as the i4.

Above all, it will finally be an opportunity for BMW to democratize 800V batteries. At the moment, apart from the Koreans Hyundai/Kia or even Porsche, few “normal” manufacturers offer this architecture, which makes it possible to have greater charging powers. With an amperage that can go up to 500A, BMW claims the 10 to 80% recharge time was reduced by around 30% compared to current electrics.

For others, it is a classic with the introduction of LFP chemistry (without cobalt, therefore) which contributes to reducing costs. On the other hand, there is no monitoring in time of a solid battery, whose development is “continuous”. But when will we see them? No idea! Remember, however, that this type of battery has a major drawback: it consumes space. Therefore, solid state batteries will be more suitable for large vehicles, even commercial ones.

Compare the real autonomy of the best electric cars according to our established test cycle. Battery capacity, usage, freedom, we tell you everything!