Earlier this month, BMW announced it would switch to a new design for its batteries with the Neue Klasse platform. From the middle of this decade, the Bavarian company will use spherical cells, which will replace the current prismatic cells. This, BMW claims, will result in a number of benefits and increased range among them. The automaker sees a distance of 621 miles (1,000 kilometers) between charges, though it won’t go beyond that figure.
BMW estimates that the new batteries planned to debut in production vehicles sometime in 2025 will provide a range increase of about 30 percent. In the brand’s flagship electric vehicle, this means the range between the two payloads will be around the magic number 621 miles (1,000 km) and a company executive has confirmed in a recent interview that BMW has no plans to go beyond that figure.
“Gen6 batteries will give us 30 percent or more of our current Gen5 range, but we won’t get more than 1,000 km. [620 miles] range, although we can. We didn’t think that such long distance was necessary,” the automaker’s head of Efficient Dynamics, Thomas Albrecht, told Autocar recently.
Another big improvement in performance will come from the increased charging capabilities. According to preliminary estimates from BMW, the Gen6 battery will be able to support charging around 270 kW or about 30 percent faster than the current generation BMW battery. With such powerful DC charging, does that mean shorter battery life? No, not at all.
“Legislation is coming to better guarantee battery life. For example, the US will require a battery performance of at least 80 percent after 10 years. We did better than that,” said Albrecht.
For the Neue Klasse platform, BMW will use a new and more compact battery with a diameter of 1.81 inches (46 millimeters) and two available heights depending on the application. Also, the chemistry of the cell will be changed to include more nickel content on the cathode side, while the cobalt content will be reduced. As a result, Gen6 batteries will have a volumetric energy density of 20 percent or higher. A healthy weight loss of 10-20 percent is also expected.