BMW to source cells from EVE

Table of Contents

BMW expands its power battery center

On November 24, following China’s power battery leader CATL, BMW’s power battery center in Shenyang, China, will also cooperate with EVE and purchase cells from the latter.

Just recently, on November 11, BMW announced that it will invest RMB 10 billion in the expansion of its power battery center in Shenyang, China.

It is understood that BMW is the first international luxury car brand to set up a battery factory in China. in October 2017, the Brilliance BMW Power Battery Center with an annual production capacity of 33,000 high-voltage battery packs was inaugurated in Shenyang, China, and provided batteries for the BMW 5 Series plug-in hybrid model; in May of the following year, the Power Battery Center launched the second phase of the project to provide the fifth generation of BMW’s first all-electric SUV, the iX3 power cells for BMW’s first all-electric SUV, the iX3.

However, since its establishment, BMW Shenyang Power Battery Center has been positioned as a Battery Pack factory. The smallest unit of the power battery is the electric cell; many individual cells are connected in series and parallel and are packaged together by the same housing frame to form a module; the battery module is then equipped with thermal management system, battery management system, etc. to form a electric motorcycle battery pack.

CATL has been a major supplier of cells to BMW's Shenyang Power Battery Center

That is to say, the Shenyang Power Battery Center mainly completes the research and development and production of power battery packs, and does not involve the production of electric cells in power batteries, which still need to be purchased. Prior to this, CATL has been the main supplier of cells to BMW Shenyang Power Battery Center, mainly providing square cells.

Advantages of cylindrical cells

When CATL first started producing power cells in 2012, the first business it received was from BMW, which provided more than 800 pages of power cell production standards to CATL to help it produce power cell products that met BMW’s requirements.

This time, BMW’s Shenyang Power Battery Center will also cooperate with EVE, which, in the industry’s view, is related to BMW’s future 46 series cylindrical battery strategy.

In September, BMW announced that it will use 46mm standard diameter large cylindrical cells in new electric vehicle models starting in 2025. Currently, BMW has signed production contracts with each of the three major Chinese power cell manufacturers CATL, EVE and Envision.

BMW’s R&D director said that the sixth generation of lithium-ion cylindrical cells developed by the company, compared to the fifth generation of square cells, have higher nickel content in the positive electrode, reduced cobalt content, and increased silicon content in the negative electrode. The energy density of the cores will be increased by more than 20%, the range will be increased by 30% and the charging speed will be increased by 30%.

BMW's sixth-generation lithium-ion cylindrical battery cells

It is understood that the current global power battery cell shape route, square is the mainstream, cylindrical cells in the 2170 small cylindrical mainly. The global head of top 10 motorcycle battery manufacturers, the first to look at the diameter of 46mm large cylindrical lithium-ion battery is Tesla, which was launched in September 2020 4680 large cylindrical battery.

The main advantages of cylindrical cells are good cell consistency, higher energy density, more efficient battery production, and lower costs. bmw also said in the announcement that the sixth generation of cylindrical batteries can reduce costs by up to 50% compared to the fifth generation of square battery products.

At the recent 2022 China International Lithium Battery Industry Conference, the technical advisor of Chinese power battery manufacturer REPT said that large cylindrical batteries will become an important route for future power batteries, mainly because the cylindrical shape is very good based on the high energy density battery system of silicon based materials for the negative electrode and high nickel for the positive electrode.

If the negative electrode of the cell is made of silicon material, silicon material tends to expand, while the cylindrical anti-expansion advantage is very obvious. And if the positive electrode uses high nickel material, due to the nature of nickel is very active, the material has some gas expansion on the cylinder structure also does not cause significant impact.

However, more than two years after Tesla announced the launch of the 4680 battery, the progress of mass production is not as fast as initially thought. This is because there are still many technical challenges to overcome to actually produce the large cylindrical battery. One of the reasons is that this cell structure is prone to short circuits and micro-shorts. Because the cell capacity is not large, the battery system requires a lot of cells through the form of parallel-string combination, once the formation of a short circuit, micro-short circuit, the entire battery system is very unfavorable. In addition, the space utilization of cylindrical batteries has a disadvantage compared to square batteries.

EVE’s future industrial layout

It is worth noting that EVE has been a fan of large cylindrical batteries in China. the chairman of EVE said that large cylindrical and large LiFePO4 batteries will be EVE’s leading products in the next three years.

EVE's leading products for the next three years

It is understood that EVE, developed in cooperation with Israeli startup StoreDot, has laid out two models of large cylindrical batteries, 4680 and 4695, which are now available in finished form. The company expects to reach a capacity of 20GWh in 2023 and 40GWh in 2024.

The recent series of EVE’s actions in Shenyang are also considered to be related to BMW’s future cooperation. Previously, on September 27, EVE made an announcement that it will build a power battery and energy storage project in Shenyang. The main company of the project has a registered capital of 100 million RMB, with a planned capacity of 40GWh and an estimated total investment of 10 billion RMB, to be built in two phases. Among them, the first phase of the project will invest 5 billion RMB to build a 20GWh energy storage and power battery intelligent manufacturing plant and supporting facilities.

And information shows that on November 22, the registered capital of 100 million RMB Shenyang EVE Co., Ltd. was established, the company is 100% owned by EVE, the business scope includes battery manufacturing, auto parts and accessories manufacturing, new energy original equipment manufacturing, battery leasing, etc.

Related post

Sign up for newsletter

Get latest news and update

Newsletter BG