With the launch of the Neue Klasse platform with cylindrical cells, BMW hopes to reduce battery prices for electric cars by 30%. Insiders expected the supplier would be one of the current partners, such as CATL, Eve Energy, Samsung SDI, or Northvolt, when the announcement was made a few weeks ago. According to Automotive News, Chinese battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited has agreed to provide the new batteries to the manufacturer.
BMW thinks that the next generation of electric cars based on the Neue Klasse design may attain the same profit margins as combustion engine vehicles. The German luxury brand declined to comment on its agreement with CATL. The latter likewise did not elaborate, merely stating that it had struck an arrangement with the company.
The transition from prismatic to round cells will occur in 2025, when the first NE-based electric car will be available for purchase. It will compete in the 3 Series sector and will be built in Hungary at the new Debrecen facility. CATL has been a battery partner for a decade, and although the new cells seem promising in terms of cost savings, increasing nickel and lithium prices partly offset the benefits.
Reuters reported earlier this month that the world’s largest battery manufacturer is looking for locations in the United States to develop an EV battery production factory. The factory, which may be placed in South Carolina or Kentucky, would service not just BMW but also Ford. What are the reasons for considering these prospective locations? Because it is where the firms’ factories are located, logistics are simplified and transportation expenses are reduced.
BMW will supposedly begin producing the Neue Klasse-based 3 Series and iX3 in Mexico in 2027 at its San Luis Potosi factory. Before that occurs, a NE electric car will start rolling off the manufacturing line in Munich in 2026.
Automotive News is the source.