800 km of range and ultra-fast charging for the electric future 3 Series

BMW announces the renewal of its partnership with CATL, the Chinese battery giant. On the program: a new battery to radically increase the range of electric cars, but also reduce charging time and production cost.

The future electric BMW 3 Series should be talked about a lot in 2025. In fact, it will inaugurate the new Neuer Klass platform, designed entirely for electric cars. The German manufacturer has just announced the batteries that will be present on this platform through a press release. And the least we can say is that they will change a lot! The rumors were therefore true.

Still made by CATL, but this time in Europe and the United States as well as China, BMW’s future batteries will look very similar to Tesla’s innovative 4680. In fact, the diameter (46mm) will be similar, while there will be two heights and certainly one at 80mm to get the standard 4680 that Tesla uses. This new format will, according to BMW, increase energy density by 20%, thanks also to a greater amount of nickel and less cobalt.

Great autonomy and very fast charging

Finally, BMW announces a 30% increase in range for the model with the longest range. If we read between the lines and take the current BMW i4 and its 593 km of range in the WLTP cycle, it means that the future electric BMW 3 Series would arrive. a theoretical range of about 770 km ! That’s more than the current Mercedes-Benz EQS 450+ with its 725 km and almost as much as the future Zeekr 001 that arrives from 2023.

The new BMW batteries
The new BMW cells

But the German manufacturer did not stop there. In fact, these new batteries will also allow you to considerably increase the charging power. BMW thus announces a charging time reduced by 30%, in particular thanks to the use of the 800 volt technology (below 500 amps) that already equips the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6 and Porsche Taycan. It should, therefore, onlyabout 20 minutes to go from 10 to 80% load.

A battery half the cost

The other good news for consumers is the cost savings associated with these new batteries. The manufacturer with the propeller thus advances one 50% figure for battery price compared to the current generation found in particular in the BMW i4.

Knowing that a battery easily costs between 20 and 30,000 euros in an electric car, halving its price should make electric cars more affordable. In this regard, the Tesla Model Y could thus cost much less (we are talking about a savings of 5,000 euros) when it is equipped with the famous 4680 batteries instead of the current 2170. a similar production cost between electric cars and their thermal counterparts.

Six Gigafactories around the world

BMW confirms the rumors and announces that it has signed a partnership with CATL but also with EVE Energy for the construction of a total of six Gigafactories: two in China, two in Europe and two in the United States. For North America, another partner will be chosen a priori. Each plant would have a production capacity of 20 GWh per year, totaling 120 GWh per year.

The CATL factory in Germany
The CATL factory in Germany

or what to be able produce around 1.5 million electric cars a year. Compared to the 2.2 million cars produced in 2021 by the German manufacturer, all engines combined. CATL has already opened a Gigafactory in Germany for all its European customers.

Batteries less harmful to the environment

From an ecological point of view, the new batteries emits 60% less CO2 during its manufacturing phase, from its extraction to its production in the CATL factories. This is thanks to the use of recycled materials, but also through the renewable energies put into practice for the manufacture of batteries. And since the battery is the element with the biggest carbon footprint in an electric car, that’s great news.

Regarding cobalt, BMW announces that it works exclusively with certified suppliers, in particular to prevent the use of illegal work. But the German company also specifies that LFP (lithium iron phosphate) batteries will also be used, making it possible to completely dispense with cobalt and nickel. This is already the case for some manufacturers, such as Tesla in its propulsion models, with the disadvantage of lower autonomy due to lower energy density than for NMA and NCM technologies.

Finally, BMW reveals that it is working with solid-state batteries, which will enable a revolution in battery operation, as we saw in our dedicated file. The manufacturer thus plans to present a prototype before 2025.

Do you think electric car batteries pollute too much?  here is the solution

According to a study by the NGO Transport and Environment, solid-state batteries would reduce their carbon footprint by 39% compared to current lithium batteries.
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