On September 9, German automotive maker BMW Group announced that it will use cylindrical cells in its Neue Klasse models starting in 2025. To meet cell demand, it has awarded cell production contracts worth more than 10 billion euros to two Chinese battery manufacturers, CATL and EVE Energy.
CATL and EVE Energy will each build two cell plants in China and Europe, each with an annual capacity of 20 GWh. BMW will also seek partners to build two more cell plants in North America.
CATL also said today that under the agreement, it will supply BMW with new cylindrical batteries with a standard diameter of 46 mm. Based on the shared vision of creating a sustainable and circular battery value chain, CATL will prioritize the use of renewable energy power and recycled materials to produce high-performance cells. Meanwhile, materials such as cobalt and lithium, used to make next-generation batteries, are sourced only from certified mines. EVE Energy noted that its subsidiary EVE Power will provide large cylindrical lithium-ion cells to BMW.
Battery cells determine the core performance of electric vehicles such as endurance, driving performance and charging time. BMW has developed new cell forms and chemical systems for the sixth generation of eDrive technology. A new cylindrical cell designed for the Neue Klasse model will increase its endurance by up to 30% under WLTP. Compared with the fifth generation square cell, the positive electrode of the sixth generation cylindrical cell contains more nickel and less cobalt.
With the rapid growth of its product matrix and market demand, BMW plans to deliver more than 2 million pure electric vehicles globally by the end of 2025. By 2030, its all-electric models will account for 50% of its global sales.