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BMW invests €200m in battery tech, 400-mile range by 2021

Published: 24 November 2017

► New investment in EV batteries
► €200m into battery cell HQ
► Bigger Munich cell, 25 EVs by 2025 

BMW continues to push its electric car credentials and today it 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.

CAR lives with a BMW i3 range-extender

Inside BMW’s new battery centre in Munich

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's new battery HQ in Munich, opens in 2019

R&D chief Klaus Fröhlich said: ‘We will be concentrating all our in-house expertise along the battery-cell value chain at our new high-tech competence centre. International experts working in the new development labs and facilities will conduct important research to refine cell chemistry and cell design. We will focus on further improvements in battery performance, lifespan, safety, charging and also costs. We will set the benchmark for the industry.’

BMW electric car range: rising past 400 miles

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.

Further proof, were it needed, that electric cars are transforming the car industry - at pace...

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By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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