- BMW and battery developer Stable Energy broaden plans to collaborate on solid-state battery know-how, with plans to start testing automobiles will these cells in 2023.
- The automaker is making ready to construct a prototype line in its Cell Manufacturing Competence Heart (CMCC) in Germany to check solid-state battery manufacturing.
- BMW says a working prototype with solid-state batteries will likely be offered earlier than 2025, however market launch timing stays fluid for now.
A number of automakers and tech startups have been engaged on solid-state battery know-how, with the promise of lighter weight and longer vary in EVs being simply two of the advantages. The race to supply solid-state batteries in manufacturing automobiles is arguably the one most vital one relating to EV know-how on this decade, with a variety of builders pursuing totally different battery compositions, and dealing to scale them up from the lab to the manufacturing line.
Battery developer Stable Energy, backed by Ford and BMW, is engaged on utilizing a sulfide-based strong electrolyte instead of the standard liquid electrolyte in its battery design, with the identical goal of providing a lighter battery and the next power density, in comparison with conventional lithium-ion designs.
BMW revealed this week that Stable Energy plans to ship full-scale automotive cells for testing this yr. The 2 corporations have additionally expanded their joint improvement settlement, permitting BMW to construct a prototype line in its Cell Manufacturing Competence Heart (CMCC) situated in Parsdorf, Germany, close to Munich.
This expanded settlement will enable BMW and Stable Energy to carry out cell improvement and manufacturing actions at areas owned by each corporations.
Earlier than the prototype manufacturing line will get rolling, BMW Group workers will work with the startup’s engineers to fantastic tune cell manufacturing processes. The automaker says a demonstrator car with a solid-state battery on board will seem earlier than 2025.
“Increasing our relationship with BMW is additional proof that each corporations imagine in Stable Energy’s know-how improvement and the worth of solid-state batteries,” stated David Jansen, interim CEO, president, and chair of Stable Energy.
Different German automakers are additionally within the race, with Mercedes-Benz backing solid-state startup Factorial Power, based mostly in Boston and likewise backed by Stellantis and Hyundai, in addition to solid-state developer ProLogium.
However BMW’s Neue Klasse EVs, due in 2025, will not instantly profit from solid-state tech. The automaker plans to introduce the subsequent era of cylindrical lithium-ion cells, dubbed Gen6, in Neue Klasse fashions, promising a 30 p.c enchancment in vary within the WLTP cycle. So solid-state batteries aren’t fairly across the nook by BMW’s estimates, despite the fact that the automaker will start testing them in prototypes later this yr.
“The brand new BMW spherical cells include a diameter of 46 millimeters and two totally different heights of 95 mm and 120 mm,” the automaker stated in regard to its next-gen lithium-ion cells. “In comparison with the prismatic cells of the fifth BMW battery cell era, the cell’s volumetric power density will enhance by greater than 20 p.c.”
Nonetheless, BMW has shunned predicting simply when we’ll see solid-state batteries in its manufacturing automobiles, together with the Neue Klasse fashions. BMW expects that earlier than 2030, 50 p.c of its gross sales will come from battery-electric fashions, however whether or not most of those will likely be its next-gen lithium-ion designs or solid-state compositions stays to be seen. BMW definitely is aware of different automakers additionally wish to be the primary to supply this know-how of their automobiles.
However Stable Energy has a extra definitive estimate, indicating it expects to scale its electrolyte manufacturing by 2028 to energy 800,000 automobiles yearly.
“BMW stays dedicated to the pursuit of all-solid-state batteries, a know-how which we imagine has vital potential for the long run,” stated Frank Weber, member of the Board of Administration for BMW, Improvement.