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© BMW Group Business | November 24, 2017

BMW Group invests €200 million in battery cell production

The German automotive group continues to focus on the implementation of its electro-mobility strategy, with the company concentrating all its technological expertise relating to battery cells at a new competence centre.
The company will invest a total of EUR 200 million in a new Battery Cell Competence Centre in Munich, which is slated to open in early 2019. With this new centre the company aims to advance battery cell technology and introduce it into production processes – it will also create 200 new jobs in the region, the company states in a press release.

“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,” said Klaus Fröhlich member of the BMW AG Board of Management, responsible for Research and Development.

Oliver Zipse, responsible for Production at BMW AG, added: “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. The knowledge we gain is very important to us, regardless of whether we produce the battery cells ourselves, or not.”

The battery cell is in many ways the heart of the battery. It determines performance, energy content, charging capabilities and lifespan, thereby making a significant contribution to the performance of an electrified vehicle.

In the labs, research and prototyping facilities, which will make up the battery cell competence centre, specialist departments will analyse cell design and cell technology, the company says in the press release. They will also create prototypes of future battery cells, focusing on the chemical composition of the cells, use of different materials, how the cell behaves in critical or extremely cold conditions, charging and rapid-charging behaviour and evaluating cell sizes and forms. This in-house technological expertise is key to enhancing the battery, thereby enabling higher performance capabilities.

BMW will also gain build-to-print expertise and can then contract out production of battery cells produced to its exact product requirements and specifications.

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December 04 2017 9:30 PM V8.9.2-1