BMW invests in battery centre

BMW to invest in a battery cell expertise centre, the German luxury carmaker said on Friday. BMW plans to invest 200 million euros into the new competence centre over the next four years. 

The electric BMW i3

The new facility is described as a multi-discipline technical centre which will be tasked with developing the design, packaging, chemical formulations, charging and power delivery characteristics of BMW’s future electric vehicles.

As part of BMW’s strategic outline, electrification is set to play a pivotal part in the company’s future alongside digitalisation and autonomous technology.

Despite the investment in the new Competence Centre For Battery Cells, the facility will be a research and development centre only, with battery production to be contracted to outside suppliers who will produce powertrain systems to BMW specifications.

“We will be concentrating all our in-house expertise along the battery-cell value chain at our new high-tech competence centre,” Klaus Froehlich, head of development for BMW Group said.

“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.”

“By producing battery-cell prototypes, we can analyse and fully understand the cell’s value-creation processes. With this build-to-print expertise, we can enable potential suppliers to produce cells to our specifications,” BMW board member Oliver Zipse said.

“The knowledge we gain is very important to us, regardless of whether we produce the battery cells ourselves, or not.”

The centre will open in early 2019, BMW said.

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