German carmaker sees batteries as the best way to improve range and reduce costs.
The upcoming all-new BMW executive sedan based on the firm’s Neue Klasse EV platform will use battery technology familiar with today’s electric cars – but BMW is still planning to introduce solid state batteries in the near future.
The German brand remains tight-lipped on when such batteries could enter the mainstream market, but it has repeatedly pledged a commitment to introducing solid-state technology as a means of increasing range and reducing costs. It has said that it will deploy the technology in a demonstrator vehicle by 2025.
That is likely to be in the vein of the new fuel cell-powered iX5 Hydrogen, which will be used for customer trials but isn’t yet planned to go on general sale.
As well as offering enhanced usability by requiring fewer charges, the solid-state batteries will also be recyclable in line with BMW’s ambitious sustainability pledges and will be produced “in a European value chain”, as confirmed earlier this year by the firm’s R&D boss, Frank Weber.
The introduction of solid-state batteries will mark another step change in the evolution of BMW’s electric cars and is tipped to be crucial in bringing them much closer in line with their petrol and diesel equivalents in terms of price, thanks to vastly reduced manufacturing costs.
The electric sedan, currently known by its internal working name NK1, will recieve BMW’s sixth-generation electric powertrain, rapid-charging capability, lightweight construction, and a new mix of sustainable construction materials. It is set to be sold alongside combustion-engined sedans and new EV models, with an expected launch date of 2025.
It is unclear whether solid state technology will be commercially viable during NK1’s lifespan, or if it will be the next generation of road cars that will recieve the new batteries.