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BMW gears up battery development: Next stop ASSB

Technology News |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

The development of a new ASSB should not only benefit BMW itself – with its activities, the company also plans to support the ramp-up of a European cell and battery value chain. The corresponding development activities are being funded by the state within the framework of two IPCEIs (Important Projects of Common European Interest).

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The aim of the development is a new class of vehicles, explained BMW CEO Oliver Zipse. “We want to significantly increase the energy density of the cells and at the same time reduce the costs of material use and production. We will also significantly reduce the use of primary material to ensure a truly ‘green’ battery,” he said.

ASSBs, unlike lithium-ion batteries commonly used today, have a solid electrolyte. The preferred materials under discussion are polymers or ceramics. The most important advantage of solid-state batteries is a higher energy density; they can also be charged faster. Another advantage is that such batteries are supposed to be easier to recycle than today’s batteries.

With this battery generation, BMW hopes to reach the level of the most modern combustion engines in terms of range and manufacturing costs. For this e-generation of BMW e-drive technology, the company is currently evaluating different cell formats, cell chemistries and also cell modules. A key objective is to design truly green, low-CO2 and recyclable batteries.

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Frank Weber, Member of the Board of Management for Development at BMW AG: “We are developing the battery cell of the future: it will be powerful, safe, cost-effective and recyclable – from the selection of materials to recyclability after use in the vehicle to recycling. All this will be created in a European value chain.”

BMW is already involved in the development of “green” battery technologies. In the current generation, for example, the company’s engineers succeeded in reducing the proportion of cobalt, which is considered problematic, in the cathode material from 33 per cent to 10 per cent; at the same time, the nickel content increased to around 80 per cent. To minimise the consumption of primary resources, up to 50 per cent recycled nickel is already used in the high-voltage storage system of the new BMW iX.

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At the same time as announcing the battery plans, the company also gave an update on its electrification roadmap: In the coming years, BMW plans to launch fully electric versions of the high-volume BMW 5 Series and the BMW X1. In addition, in the luxury segment, there will be the 7 Series as well as the successor to the MINI Countryman and other models. By 2023, the Munich-based company aims to have at least one fully electric model on the road in each of 90 per cent of its current market segments.

By 2025, BMW wants to increase sales of fully electric models by an average of more than 50 per cent annually and thus more than tenfold compared to 2020. In total, the company will have delivered around two million fully electric vehicles to customers by the end of 2025.

Based on current market expectations, BMW expects that at least 50 per cent of its global sales will consist of fully electric vehicles in 2030. In total, the company will thus put around ten million fully electric vehicles on the road in the next ten years or so.

More information: https://www.bmw.co.uk/en/

 

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