By 2025, BMW is expected to unveil a new EV platform called Neue Klasse and with it comes the sixth-generation electric drivetrain including the batteries. Automotive News reports that the so-called Gen 6 battery achieves up to 30 percent more driving range than the current generation.
The new battery cell is cylindrical-shaped, ditching the prismatic cells in modules to form a pack and adopt a cell-to-pack design. In simple terms, they’re able to squeeze more cells into the same footprint, which translates to higher energy density.
More than that, the new battery design allows the battery pack to be mounted directly into the vehicle’s frame. BMW says that this not only improves rigidity and ride quality, but is also 50 percent less expensive. The Gen 6 battery is also said to be 30 percent quicker in recharging, and the Neue Klasse platform will adopt a 800V architecture.
“The main challenge is to achieve the right compromise between stiffness and flexibility,” said Simon Erhard, lead development for Gen 6 at BMW. “The most integrated (design) would be where the vehicle floor is the upper part of the battery pack.”
The cell itself is said to be more sustainable, utilizing more nickel and silicon with less cobalt. BMW said the cathode in its battery cell has 50 percent less cobalt, while the anode has 20 percent less graphite.
Previously, BMW CEO Oliver Zipse says the company plans to sell a total of 2 million battery-electric vehicles (BEV) by 2025 and expects half of the company’s sales will be BEVs by 2030.