BMW’s current crop of EVs are pretty impressive, in terms of range, power, and driving dynamics. However, its EV lineup is going to get even better in a few years, with the introduction of BMW’s Neue Klasse architecture. According to BMW technical development director Frank Weber, who recently spoke to Elektroauto-News, Neue Klasse cars will have up to 800 kilometers (497 miles) of range from its new round cell battery chemistry.
When Neue Klasse—BMW’s future electric architecture that will underpin most of its EVs—arrives, it will come with two new battery chemistries, which will allow BMW to offer two different battery packs. Essentially, one is going to be the standard-range chemistry and the other is going to be a long-range chemistry. The standard-range chemistry will offer around 500 kilometers of range (311 miles), while the upgraded battery will have the full-beans 800 kilometers.
Why have two different battery chemistries and not just have the one longer-range setup? Cost, of course. The idea is that not all cars, nor do all customers, need 800 km of range. So why spend the extra money for range you’re never going to use. Some cars might not even offer the longer-range battery, such as the upcoming BMW i1 and i2. However, other cars like the upcoming BMW i3 (an electric 3 Series sedan) and the iX3 could come with the larger battery as an option.
Weber also claimed there’d be a third battery cell option but it won’t be available anytime soon. It’s a solid-state battery chemistry, which would increase battery density over even the longer, round-cell batteries. Solid-state batteries are the future of EV batteries and are better than current lithium-ion batteries in every way. However, automakers are still a few years away from implementing solid-state technology in their cars.
Until then, though, BMW’s upcoming Neue Klasse battery chemistry should be a massive improvement over its current setup. And in its current state, BMWs cars are able to reach up to 300 miles of range. But being able to do just about 500 miles worth of driving in a single charge is far more impressive.