BMW expects solid-state battery in 2030
BMW Group has announced its intention to realize a solid-state battery suitable for automotive use in series production by the end of this decade. A first demonstrator vehicle with this technology is to be shown “well before 2025”.
For the BMW Group, it is clear that high-performance and sustainable energy storage systems are the key success factor for the individual mobility of the future.
Therefore, the development of highly innovative and sustainable battery cells is a key element of a high-performance European cell and battery value chain.
In this context, Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Monday received a grant decision from the Federal Minister of Economics and Energy, Peter Altmaier, as well as from the Bavarian Minister of State for Economic Affairs, Regional Development, and Energy, Hubert Aiwanger, in support of the BMW Group’s battery projects within the framework of the battery IPCEI (Important Project of Common European Intertest).
BMW, which already received funding in the first battery IPCEI, wants to develop the Li-Ion cells of the “next but one generation”, including solid-state batteries, within the framework of the second IPCEI. The EU gave the go-ahead for the renewed funding in January.
In the summer of 2020, BMW received €60 million from the state and federal government for battery research, 30% from the Bavarian state government, and 70% from the Federal Ministry of Economics.
German Economics Minister Altmaier describes both BMW projects as “central to the further expansion of electromobility in Germany”. “With the joint European projects, it has been possible to successfully establish the battery value chain in Germany and Europe and secure sustainable jobs,” the minister said.
For the electric cars of the ‘Neue Klasse’ (new class), announced in March during the annual press conference for the middle of the decade, BMW will first develop the next generation of battery technology.
“We want to significantly increase the energy density of the cells and reduce the costs of material use and production at the same time. We will also significantly reduce the use of primary material to ensure a truly ‘green’ battery,” says BMW CEO Oliver Zipse.
For this sixth-generation – BMW is currently rolling out its 5th generation – of its e-drive technology, BMW is evaluating different cell formats, cell chemistries, and also cell modules.
In this sixth-generation, range and manufacturing costs should drop “to the level of the most modern combustion engines”. The fifth generation of cells is now used in vehicles such as the iX3 and i4, which are to be delivered from now on, practically.
In the seventh generation, the energy density of battery cells should increase significantly, made possible by the solid-state battery. BMW, however, doesn’t say that the seventh generation of cells will exclusively have solid electrolytes.
“We are doing intensive research on solid-state battery technology,” says BMW board member for development Frank Weber. “By the end of the decade, we will be implementing an automotive-compatible solid-state battery for series production.”
He also announced a demonstrator vehicle for “well before 2025”, but he did not give any technical details on solid-state cells. That’s comprehensible because other manufacturers are working on solid-state (Toyota, VW, etc.), and they’re tight-lipped too. It doesn’t seem so simple.
Volkswagen works together with QuantumScape on this, and at its ‘Power Day‘, VW described solid-state batteries as an end goal. One of the pioneers of solid-state battery research was Fisker, but they put the plans on hold.
Company CEO Henrik Fisker is pointing at the fact that the last 10% of the research process is the most difficult. “Solid-state batteries are still very, very far away,” Fiker stresses. Of course, he wanted the batteries already in 2023, a year that Toyota was also aiming for a while ago.