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BMW produces radically improved electric car batteries in Hungary.


BMW produces radically improved electric car batteries in Hungary. Subscribe to Electric Vehicle News Bitesize Podcast for FREE!

The new sixth-generation batteries will be used in new electric vehicles from 2025, including the BMW i3 sedan.

BMW will build a sixth-generation (Gen6) electric vehicle battery assembly plant at its new iFactory manufacturing facility in Debrecen, Hungary.

Milan Nedeljković, a BMW board member in charge of production, said Gen6 battery assembly would focus on BMW’s “next generation of circular batteries” for models based on the company’s Neue Klasse platform.

“In Debrecen, we’re building the most advanced plant in the world. With our iFactory, we’re setting new industry standards for vehicle production. Our investments underline our systematic approach to implementing e-mobility,“ he said.

The first model to be based on the Neue Klasse platform is an electric sedan that sources say will revive the BMW i3 name when it enters production in 2025. Their development will be paired with a successor to today’s BMW iX3 SUV, which is also planned for production at the Hungarian factory.

The Debrecen plant is expected to have an initial capacity of up to 150,000 vehicles in its first full year of operation.

The newly confirmed battery assembly business is part of BMW’s earmarked €2bn (£1.7bn) investment for the 140,000-square-metre factory, which started construction in May 2022.

Manufactured in Hungary, the Gen6 batteries will be integrated into BMW’s new Neue Klasse platform, which will underpin all upcoming seventh-generation BMW 3 Series models, including the i3.

They will move away from the modular assembly used by BMW’s existing fifth-generation (Gen5) batteries for a new cell-to-pack assembly approach.

BMW R&D board member Frank Weber recently announced that the new Gen6 cells will be assembled in packages ranging from 75 kilowatt hour to 150 kilowatt hour.

The new circular battery has a diameter of 46 mm and a height of 95 mm for the sedan model and 120 mm for the SUV model.

In announcing its plans, BMW said its new batteries were “vital to the competitiveness of electric vehicles”.

“With the next generation of batteries for the Neue Klasse, range will improve by up to 30% and the charging speed will be up to 30% faster,” it said.

The “high voltage” note indicates that new batteries can operate up to 800V.

There is no information yet on the new battery supplier, but BMW partner CATL recently announced plans to build a battery production facility in Debrecen.

The construction of the BMW battery assembly is expected to increase the number of employees at the Debrecen plant by 500.

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