In the electrified race of the automotive world, BMW has thrown down the gauntlet, challenging Tesla’s battery prowess. “Tesla needs to close the gap with us,” asserts BMW, with a tone of confidence rooted in the imminent launch of their sixth-generation battery cell.
This cell, designed by BMW’s Cell Manufacturing Competence Center in Parsdorf, Germany, boasts improvements that could reshape the competitive landscape of electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
BMW’s sixth-gen battery cell emerges as a potent contender, offering a 20% increase in energy density and a 60% reduction in production-related carbon emissions.
It’s not just about the cells; it’s the promise of 30% more range and EVs capable of 500-mile journeys at the battery pack level that sets the bar high.
BMW’s new cell takes inspiration from Tesla’s 4680 format but expands it even further, a move that aligns with their strategy to maintain a unique BMW driving experience.
Yet, the Bavarian giant’s ambition doesn’t end there. BMW’s Gen6 platform signals a strategic shift from rectangular prismatic batteries to cylindrical cells, a leap aimed at halving the cost of battery packs to rival the price of internal combustion engine vehicles.
These new batteries are not just about saving pennies; they promise to boost energy density by 20%, reduce charging time by 30%, and provide BMW’s top vehicles with 30% more range.
The battery technology advancements are complemented by BMW’s broader sustainability goals. The company is committed to a “circular” battery manufacturing process, which includes using recycled materials for lithium, cobalt, and nickel, and powering production with green energy. Such initiatives underscore BMW’s resolve to not only lead in battery technology but also in environmental stewardship.
BMW’s drive for innovation extends to the battery’s integration with the vehicle, following the “pack to open body” concept, akin to Tesla’s “structural batteries.”
This integration, coupled with an 800V drive train, will reportedly will rapid recharges, with BMW eyeing 80% recharges in under 20 minutes using a 350kW supply.
Despite BMW’s bold claims, it’s important to note that the sixth-gen BMW batteries are slated for a 2025 debut in new EVs. While BMW’s confidence is palpable, Tesla’s response, whether in the form of technological advancements or competitive strategies, remains to be seen.
The EV industry is no stranger to rapid evolution, and with each automaker’s commitment to innovation, the real winner is the consumer, who stands to benefit from longer ranges, faster charging times, and more environmentally friendly vehicles.
As BMW forges ahead with its Gen6 technology, the automotive world watches with bated breath, anticipating the next leap forward in the race for battery supremacy.