BMW Group has announced the launch of a new battery competence centre in which it will invest 200 million Euros over the next four years. Klaus Fröhlich, member of the BMW AG Board of Management, responsible for Research and Development, and Oliver Zipse, member of the BMW AG Board of Management, responsible for Production, were joined by Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs Ilse Aigner for the symbolic ground-breaking of the BMW Group Battery Cell Competence Centre in Munich. The centre is set to open by 2019.
Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony, 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.”
The centre will incorporate labs and workshops where battery cells and future technologies connected to cells will be designed, prototyped and researched. The idea is to develop commercial technologies and products that can then be farmed out to vendors and suppliers for actual production runs.
The BMW Group is already developing the fifth generation of its electric drivetrain, for release in 2021. This sees the integration of the motor, transmission and power electronics into a single module, which in turn is scaleable and can be modified for different applications and outputs. The system also does not require the use of heavy metals. This system is at the core of the group’s declared goal of electrifying every model offering by 2020.
Between January and the end of October, the BMW Group delivered a total of 78,096 BMW i, BMW iPerformance and electrified MINI vehicles to customers worldwide – an increase of 63.7% on the previous year.