BMW has just announced a new €200 million investment (£178m) over four years in a battery cell research centre in Munich.
The premium car maker is busy electrifying its whole range and plans to offer 25 full electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles by 2025. A dozen of those will be full electric vehicles (EV).
BMW has been an early adopter in the EV scene, the most visible proof being the Project i cars, including the i3 town car and i8 sports car. It has sold 78,000 electrified cars in the first 10 months of 2017.
Today’s investment will spawn a new ‘battery cell competence centre’ due to open in early 2019 and illustrated below. It will specialise in the chemical reactions in battery cells and will create 200 new jobs, according to BMW.
BMW said it was busy developing its fifth generation of electric powertrains, due for launch in 2021, ‘in which interaction between the electric motor, transmission, power electronics and battery have been further optimised.’ Full EV range should stretch to 700km (430 miles) on a single charge.
Integrating the electric motor, transmission and power electronics into a single, modular component uses fewer parts and therefore saves costs, the company added. Nor will electric motors rely so heavily on rare-earth materials.