The BMW Group has started construction on a Battery Cell Competence Centre in Munich, Germany with an investment of €200m.
The centre will focus on the development of battery cell technology and its introduction into the production process as part of the company’s electro-mobility strategy.
The interdisciplinary competence centre will open in 2019 and is expected to create 200 jobs.
The facility will house labs, research and prototyping facilities, where specialist departments will analyse cell design and cell technology.
Using in-house technological expertise, the centre will experiment with various materials and chemicals to create prototypes of future battery cells that can deliver higher performance and to optimize battery size for specific applications.
The BMW Group, which has already taken up research into battery cells, will incorporate the research findings of the specialist departments and locations at the Battery Cell Competence Centre into the latest battery generation.
After gaining build-to-print expertise, the group intends to contract out production of battery cells produced to its product requirements and specifications.
BMW is also working on the fifth generation of its electric drivetrain, which is likely to be released in 2021.
The electric motor of the new generation drivetrain does not require the use of rare earth metals, eliminating the group’s dependence on the availability of these metals.
The electric motor, transmission and power electronics are combined in a separate electric-drive component, resulting in a compact design.
The fifth generation electric drivetrain uses more powerful batteries and extends the range of pure battery-electric vehicles to up to 700km and up to 100km in plug-in hybrid models.
The electric drivetrain will be integrated into both front- and rear-wheel drive flexible enhanced vehicle architectures.
BMW produces electrified vehicles at 10 locations worldwide and the batteries for these models are manufactured at the factories in Dingolfing, Germany; Spartanburg, US; and Shenyang, China.
The Dingolfing plant plays a key role as the centre of competence for electric drive systems.