BMW promises a revolution in terms of efficiency with its new generation electric cars. The brand refers to this evolution as Neue Klasse, and one of the keys to these models will be in their batteries, of which they have just provided more data, as well as the first photographs of the new liti ion cellsor that will compose them.
These are cylinder-type cells whose size will depend on the model to which they are intended, although the only dimension that will vary will be the height, since the diameter of the base will always be the same, 46 millimeters.
According to the brand, thanks to having opted for this type of lithium-ion cells and the investment they have allocated to improve the way in which batteries are integrated into the chassis structure, these new “batteries” are capable of improving the energy density of the battery by more than 20%,” which is a striking leap.
On the one hand, part of the gain is in the chemistry of the cells. Compared to the prismatic cells of bmw’s previous generation of battery cells, the nickel content in the sixth-generation BMW round cells is higher on the cathode side, while the cobalt content is reduced. On the anode side, the silicon content is increased.
Another aspect that helps to improve the energy density of this new type of battery is that BMW has been able to design a new type of packaging within the structure of the vehicle, which allows to significantly reduce the space needed for the battery. The brand is not called “pack to open body”, which translates to “packaged to open structure”, and whose main feature is that the modules in which the cells are normally integrated are eliminated.
Another aspect of utmost importance that the brand has confirmed is that the entire electrical system (battery, powertrain and charging technology) will work with a nominal voltage of more than 800 volts, which is the voltage around which the latest generation electric cars are being designed in rival brands of BMW, like KIA or Porsche. Launching electric cars that exceed this rated voltage, what BMW will mainly achieve will be extremely reduced charging times in sufficiently powerful direct current stations.
As specified by BMW, its electric cars of the Neue Klasse will be able to deal with currents in full load of up to 500 amps, which will reduce the charging time of the car from 10 to 80 percent by up to 30 percent.
Production of the new BMW cells
To supply the battery cells for the NEUE KLASSE, the BMW Group says it has already awarded contracts worth “double digits of billions of euros” to CATL and EVE Energy. Thanks to this investment, both partners will build two gigafactories in China and Europe. Each of the battery factories will have a total annual capacity of up to 20 GWh. The plans envisage the construction of two more battery factories in the North American free trade zone,