BMW was one of the first premium brands to develop its own electric powertrains. Considering that “Motor” is literally in the brand’s name, it only makes sense that BMW would want its own electric motors. While most brands use their own motors, now, BMW began development of its own EV powertrains. However, when it comes to battery tech, BMW is in no rush to start making its own battery cells.
The reason for BMW’s hesitance is the unknown future of the technology. BMW financial boss Nicolas Peter recently told Reuters it’s impossible to predict “what technology will accompany us for the next 10-15 years.” This comes after news that both Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen have shown interest in created their own battery cells. Tesla is also in the process of developing its own in-house, all-new battery design.
That doesn’t mean BMW is just sitting on its hands, waiting for someone to develop a new technology, though. BMW, along with Ford and Volta Energy Technologies, have invested $130 million into Solid Power, a company specializing in solid-state batteries. Solid-state batteries, with the far higher energy density and drastically reduced weight, could be the future sooner than later, making investments into current battery tech a waste of time.
BMW is clearly investing in the future then, while also maintaining supply for the present, as the Bavarians ongoing contracts with existing battery suppliers, giving it enough batteries to build EVs until 2037. The battery cells will be made by its suppliers but BMW is developing battery assembly plants. As far as we know, solid-state batteries are the future but that could change as well. Which is why BMW is making investments into the tech but not commitments to build its own. Once there’s a clearer path forward, BMW would likely jump into its own production.
[Source: EV Globe via Reuters]