BMW aims to slash battery costs for electric vehicles by 30 percent with the introduction of the Neue Klasse platform featuring cylindrical cells. The disclosure was made a few weeks ago when insiders assumed the supplier would be one of the existing partners: CATL, Eve Energy, Samsung SDI, or Northvolt. According to Automotive News, Chinese battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited has inked a deal with the automaker to provide the new batteries.
With the new wave of electric vehicles on the Neue Klasse architecture, BMW believes it can achieve the same profit margins it enjoys for vehicles powered by combustion engines. The German luxury brand refrained from going into any details about its deal with CATL. The latter also did not elaborate on the matter, only saying it has reached an agreement with the automaker.
Switching from prismatic cells to round ones will take place in 2025 when the first NE-based electric vehicle is scheduled to go on sale. It’ll compete in the 3 Series segment and is going to be assembled in Hungary at the upcoming Debrecen plant. CATL has been a battery partner for a decade, and while the new cells do sound promising in terms of cutting costs, rising prices of nickel and lithium partially negate the advantages.
Earlier this month, Reuters reported about how the world’s biggest battery maker is scouting for sites in the United States to build an EV battery manufacturing plant. Possibly located in South Carolina or Kentucky, the facility would serve not only BMW but also Ford. Why are these potential locations being considered? Because that is where the companies have factories, therefore simplifying logistics to reduce transport costs.
BMW will allegedly assemble the Neue Klasse-based 3 Series and iX3 at its San Luis Potosi plant in Mexico from 2027. Before that happens, a NE electric model will begin to roll off the assembly line at the factory in Munich in 2026.
Source: Automotive News