BMW is set to rival Tesla with its innovative Gen 6 battery cells, aiming to boost efficiency and sustainability in its forthcoming electric vehicle lineup.
BMW’s production chief asserts the company leads in battery technology, requiring no catch-up with Tesla.
The new Gen 6 battery cells promise a 20% increase in energy density and a 30% longer range, targeting a 500-mile travel distance on a single charge.
BMW focuses on in-house battery design expertise, aiming for a 60% reduction in production-related carbon emissions and 95% recyclability for materials.
According to a report by Automotive News Europe, BMW’s leap forward in electric vehicle (EV) battery technology positions the automaker at the forefront of the industry, challenging the current market leader, Tesla. Milan Nedeljkovic, BMW’s Group production chief, confidently stated that Tesla needs to bridge the technological divide to match BMW’s innovations. This assertion comes as BMW begins producing its first Gen 6 battery cell samples at its facility near Munich, Germany.
These new cells are a crucial element of BMW’s strategy to enhance its EV lineup starting in 2025, aiming to halve battery costs and significantly boost performance metrics. The Gen 6 cells are expected to deliver a 20% increase in energy density and extend driving range by up to 30%, enabling approximately 500 miles of travel on a single charge. Additionally, BMW is committed to decreasing the carbon footprint of its battery production by 60%.
Nedeljkovic emphasizes the importance of a comprehensive understanding of battery-driven powertrains, which is why BMW is also innovating in electric engine design. This approach is in line with the company’s focus on maintaining a competitive edge in the fast-growing, and often volatile, EV market, especially in key regions such as China.
Despite the challenging environment, BMW is steadfast in its reliance on in-house expertise. The BMW Group Cell Manufacturing Competence Centre, where the battery cells are being developed, represents a significant investment and serves as a hub for collaboration among R&D, process experts, and suppliers.
While BMW has decided against scaling up to large-scale battery cell production, preferring to delegate serial production to suppliers like CATL and Eve Energy, the automaker remains deeply engaged in battery technology development. This strategy includes plans for multiple battery chemistries and a strong commitment to battery recycling, with the goal of reusing 95% of the material from high-voltage batteries.