BMW to Start Own Production of Solid-State BEV Batteries

BMW is to start making its own solid-state batteries for future BEVs at its plants in Germany.

Reuters reports that the move follows an agreement with US battery maker, Solid Power, to offer some intellectual property rights related to its solid-state batteries. Solid-state batteries use a solid electrolyte, compared with a liquid one in lithium-ion batteries, boasting several advantages including better ecological credentials plus having a lower risk of catching fire in the event of collision.

BMW is accelerating its vehicle battery production options having already announced it plans to be using cylindrical batteries in its cars from 2025. Its agreement with CATL of China claims that the round cell technology will help it increase the range of the highest-range model by up to 30% on the WLTP rating.

Now Solid Power, headquartered in Colorado, will license the cell design and manufacturing processes to BMW, which will pay the company $20M through June 2024, subject to conditions. Solid Power will retain the intellectual property rights related to its electrolyte material which it will supply to BMW once the carmaker’s battery production lines are up and running.

The company, which went public in December last year, is among a group of companies trying to create next-generation batteries for BEVs aiming to solve several downsides to using lithium-ion batteries not least their adverse affect on greenhouse gases.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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