It’s all about the batteries. Succeeding in the electric vehicle market in which there’s far more consumer demand for electric cars than there is supply often comes down to having enough batteries. The more batteries, the more sales, the better one looks. BMW got the memo (perhaps) and just confirmed a battery supply agreement with CATL for 2025 onward. BMW Group is planning an electric vehicle series called the NEUE KLASSE series, and CATL will provide the batteries for those vehicles.
These with be cylindrical battery cells 46 mm in diameter. They will be produced at two new CATL factors, one in China and one in Europe. At each of these battery gigafactories, 20 GWh of battery production will be dedicated to BMW Group.
CATL reports that this will be a big step up for BMW. “Powered by CATL’s new round cells, the sixth generation of BMW eDrive technology used in the NEUE KLASSE is a major leap in EV technology with regards to energy density, charging speed and range.” What more can an automaker ask for?
Oh, yes, these batteries will also be produced primarily using green clean renewable energy and ethically sourced minerals. “The agreement builds on the two companies’ shared commitment to building a sustainable and in future circular battery value chain. CATL will primarily utilize renewable energies and secondary materials for the production of the high-performance battery cells. Cobalt and lithium used for the new generation of battery cells will be sourced from certified mines.”
That’s the word. Now, there is still the question of whether 40 GWh of batteries per year is enough for BMW to produce the number of electric cars consumers will be wanting. How many gas-powered cars does BMW plan to still be selling from 2025–2030 and will people care to buy them? If the performance of these CATL batteries is so good, and thus the performance and cost of BMW’s NEUE KLASSE electric cars is so good, BMW will need to quickly transition out old fossil-fueled powertrains in order to not face a bit of a financial crisis.
Featured image — BMW headquarters — courtesy of BMW.
Related recent story: BMW Expands Battery Production, Tells Us About The Process
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