BMW’s Round Battery Cells For 2025 Will Boost Range And Charging Speeds By 30%

BMW’s next-generation battery technology will help its 2025 EVs travel up to 30 percent further and charge 30 percent faster than today’s cars, the company has revealed.

BMW will roll out the technology with its next generation Neue Klasse electric vehicle architecture two years from now, replacing the prismatic battery cells used by current cars with round cells that measure 46mm (1.8 inches) in diameter and come in two different heights. BMW says they have more nickel and less cobalt on the cathode side, and additional silicone on the anode side. Science not your strong point? The key takeaway is that those changes improve energy density by 20 percent.

Matching the likes of Porsche and Hyundai with 800-volt charging technology, the new batteries are also 50 percent less expensive to make, which could help bring the retail cost of BMW’s EVs down. BMW had previously said that it was targeting a 30 percent reduction in battery cost to help it compete with Tesla. But just as important, the carbon footprint from the battery production process has been slashed by 60 percent compared with the production of current battery cells.

Related: BMW’s First Production Neue Klasse Cars Will Be A Compact Sedan And A Sporty SUV


BMW says this reduction is possible because the new cells are made using power generated from renewable energies and that the cobalt, lithium and nickel inside them will include a percentage of raw materials that aren’t freshly mined, but already in the loop. Freshly-mined minerals that make up the remaining portion will be sourced from certified mines that provide full transparency over the production process, BMW claims, adding that its ultimate aim is to use fully recyclable battery cells.


It is also working on solid-state batteries that should bring even bigger advances in range and charging speeds, but that technology won’t be on sale until the end of the decade. Before then it needs to build six gigafactories around the globe to build its new round cells. BMW says it has already awarded multi-billion-dollar contracts to CATL and EVE Energy to construct four plants in China and Europe, while two more facilities will be built in the North American free trade zone by unnamed partners.

That last bit of news could be particularly relevant to North American EV buyers in the wake of a decision by the U.S. government to only award tax credits to EVs built in the region and using batteries sourced locally.



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