Soon 1,000 km of autonomy and lightning charging for BMW electric cars?

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BMW has just announced the start of production of prototype semi-solid batteries. Those that will allow to achieve a very interesting autonomy, close to 1,000 km, with ultra-fast charging.

BMW i Vision Dee
BMW i Vision Dee

Article updated on January 23, 2023 : Within Press release, BMW announces the upcoming creation of a production line dedicated to semi-solid battery cells. In conjunction with the Solid Power company, the goal is to be able to demonstrate an electric car equipped with this battery in 2025.

Solid Power is expected to supply the first cells to BMW in 2023 for testing purposes. The Bavarian manufacturer recalls that the new batteries (classic and not semi-solid) will be integrated into the brand’s electric cars from 2025. Then we should achieve a range of about 800 km with fast charging in about twenty minutes.

The first electric car to be equipped with this future platform will be the 3 Series, whose project is called Neue Klasse. A project that is beginning to show itself, especially with the BMW i Dee concept.

Original article of December 22, 2022

: BMW is developing its partnership with the company Solid Power, which specializes in solid-state batteries. Thus, the manufacturer will have access to all the firm’s research and development resources and will thus be able to produce its own accumulators in its German factory.

Although technologies are developing in the electric car field, there are still many limitations that are difficult to solve. And among them, autonomy. Because to get as far as possible, you need big batteries. Except that these are expensive to produce and are heavier, which therefore affects consumption and autonomy. It’s a bit like a snake biting its own tail. While some manufacturers choose to reduce the size of the accumulators, others are working on new alternatives.

a new stage

Among them, solid batteries. These guarantee better stability and also have a higher density. In concrete terms, for the same size and weight as a liquid electrolyte lithium battery, iit is possible to store more electricity. As a result, the autonomy is then greater, for an also lower cost. In theory, therefore, there are only advantages.

except here, this technology is still very difficult to industrialize, due to the challenge of the liquid electrolyte, which still needs to be stabilized. According to specialists, such as the StoreDot company, which develops batteries for electric cars, solid-state accumulators will not see the light of day until the second half of the decade. In the meantime, the solution remains semi-solid batteries, the production of which has already begun at WeLion, which supplies the Chinese manufacturer Nio present in Europe.

But if most brands think that the solid battery won’t make it to our production cars anytime soon, that doesn’t stop them from actively working on its development. This is particularly the case for BMW, which foresees a massive arrival around 2030. For this, the German firm is obviously not alone, since in 2017 it signed a partnership with Solid Power, a company specialized in the development of solid state batteries using sulfur electrolyte.

If BMW is already investing in the company, a press release from the latter announces an extension of the partnership, which therefore goes further. Because the car manufacturer will not be satisfied with receiving prototypes of solid batteries designed by Solid Power to test them to later equip their cars. The company will also give the German brand access to its knowledge and resources..

A win-win partnership

But what is all this for? By having access to all information related to research and development of these batteries, such as the manufacturing processes or the design of the cells, BMW will simply be able to double production within your own factory. Thus, the firm will not depend solely on Solid Power, since it will also produce its solid batteries.

Therefore, all aspects of industrialization will be dominated by the manufacturer, which should also make it possible to guarantee reduced delivery times. In exchange, BMW agreed to pay $20 million to his partner for June 204in order to allow you to keep moving forward and reach new goals.

Therefore, with this breakthrough, BMW should accelerate the development of its solid-state batteries. In particular, these should allow future models of the brand to approach 1,000 kilometers of autonomy and go from 10 to 80% in less than 15 minutes during ultra-fast recharges.

However, last September, Thomas Albrecht, an engineer who works for the German brand, stated that ” We will not go beyond 1,000 km, even if we can. We don’t think such a high battery life is necessary« .

The firm would prefer to bet on fast charging, as CATL offers with its Qilin CTP 3.0 battery, which can go from 10 to 80% in ten minutes. But the development of solid electrolyte systems could, therefore, change the situation and encourage the German brand to review its plans, which allow it to offer Greater autonomy without the inconveniences that come with it.

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