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BMW To Invest Over Rs 1,500 Crore For Developing EVs

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  • Nov 29, 2017
  • Views : 944

The investment will go towards building a battery cell competence centre in Munich, which will initially focus on R&D for batteries

Opening announcement for battery cell competence centre

All major auto manufacturers know what’s coming next for the automotive industry - Electrification. Electric vehicles (EVs) are definitely coming and nobody can stop this revolution. Why would anyone want to, for that matter. They’re not only safer for the environment but also cheaper to run and maintain.

BMW is one such company that’s focusing on channelising its capital into bringing out efficient electric vehicles. According to the latest statement from the company, it has decided to invest a whooping € 200 million (which translates to over Rs 1,526 crore) to develop a battery cell competence centre. The sum, however, won’t be invested all at once but within a period of four years. According to BMW, battery cell competence centre will also create 200 more jobs.

A concept idea for the centre

The high-tech facility centre, which will be based in Munich, will be opened by early-2019 and will be used by BMW’s top experts to conduct research into refined cell chemistry and design. Focus will also be placed on improving battery performance, lifespan, safety, charging and costs.

However, the centre will not be a battery plant and will purely be a research centre for now with the sole aim of creating technologically-advanced battery prototypes. Once developed, this technology will be passed onto battery manufacturers, who will then design them as per BMW’s specifications for BMW’s vehicles.

BMW i Vision Dynamics

BMW has already ventured into electric mobility with their ‘i’ range of vehicles. By 2021, the German carmaker is set to introduce a production model based on the fifth-generation of its electrical drivetrain. This will combine the electric motor, transmission, battery, and controller into a single piece unit, unlike the current system where all of these components are separate units.

New electric drivetrains will be lighter, cheaper and simpler

BMW says this should help make future electric drivetrain systems more compact and cheaper. BMW also insists that its new modular drivetrains will have the flexibility to be accommodated in different models, and further development in battery technology will allow it to offer a range of up to 700km on pure EVs. BMW added that this system, when used in plug-in hybrid cars, could offer a range of up to 100km. These compact drivetrains will further allow the manufacturer to fit them into any of its current model depending on demand.

BMW C Evolution Image

One can also hope that this research will find its way to BMW’s two-wheelers  as well. BMW Motorrad already has the C Evolution in the EV scooter segment, but lessons learned at this new centre could help it develop more mainstream motorcycles powered by electric motors.

BMW says that the focus is on electric mobility, digitalisation and autonomous driving vehicles for the future while eliminating the dependence on rare metals and other non-renewable resources. Such a heavy investment only strengthens their claim in the cause. However, It goes to see how the infrastructure for EVs can match up to the speed of rapidly advancing electric mobility technologies.