BMW solid-state battery prototype by 2025
Plans to have game-changing technology ready for EVs by 2030 Metal Tech News – April 21, 2021
Last updated 4/27/2021 at 3:58pm
Seeing solid-state batteries as a game-changer for the automotive sector, BMW Group plans to have a prototype of this higher density electric storage technology ready for demonstration in less than four years and be commercially producing solid-state cells for use in its electric vehicles by 2030.
"We are doing intensive research on solid-state battery technology," said Frank Weber, who heads BMW AG's development division. "By the end of the decade, we will be implementing an automotive-compatible solid-state battery for series production. We plan to show a first demonstrator vehicle featuring this technology well before 2025."
The lithium-ion batteries currently used in EVs have a liquid lithium electrolyte between an anode usually made of graphite and cathode typically made from some combination of nickel, cobalt, and manganese. Solid-state batteries utilize a solid in place of the liquid electrolyte, which improves storage capacity and safety.
Theoretically, a solid-state battery with a lithium metal anode could roughly double the energy density over the standard lithium-ion batteries used today.
BMW believes that by the end of the decade, the energy density of battery cells will increase by around 50% over its current batteries. This ability to store more energy in less space means BMW EVs will be able to travel longer on a charge or less space will need to be allocated for the batteries, or some combination of the two.
And without the liquid electrolyte, solid-state batteries are not prone to catch fire if damaged.
"We are developing the battery cell of the future: it will be powerful, safe, cost-effective, and recyclable – from material selection to recyclability after the use in the vehicle," said Weber.
The development of solid-state battery technology is part of Neue Klasse (new class), the next generation of BMW vehicles. Set to be launched by mid-decade, BMW says Neue Klasse vehicles will be uncompromisingly electric, digital, and circular.
One of the primary objectives of Neue Klasse is to produce EVs that rival state-of-the-art internal combustion engines in terms of range and manufacturing costs.
"With the Neue Klasse, we will make a big leap in technology in electric drive," said BMW AG Chairman Oliver Zipse. "We want to significantly increase the energy density of the cells and reduce the costs of material use and production at the same time. We will also significantly reduce the use of primary material to ensure a truly 'green' battery."
In the interim to solid-state, BMW is evaluating different cell formats, chemistry, and modules in the current development phase. A key goal is to create truly green, low-carbon, and recyclable batteries.
Including the BMW i3, MINI Cooper SE, and BMW iX3 already on showroom floors, BMW Group plans to have around a dozen all-electric models on the road as early as 2023. In addition to the BMW i3, MINI Cooper SE and BMW iX3. The next BMW EVs to hit global highways are the BMW i4 and the BMW iX, slated for delivery later this year.
BMW Group says it will have at least one all-electric model on the road in around 90% of its current market segments by the end of 2023.
In total, BMW Group plans to deliver roughly two million all-electric vehicles to customers by the end of 2025.