The new BMW battery CATL: fast charging and autonomy

The new BMW battery CATL: fast charging and autonomy

BMW has announced the renewal of its partnership with CATL, the Chinese battery giant. On the agenda: a new BMW battery that will radically increase the range of electric cars but also reduce their charging time and production costs.

The future electric BMW 3-Series will be in the news in 2025. Indeed, it will inaugurate the new Neuer Klass platform, designed entirely for electric cars. The German manufacturer has just revealed the batteries present in this platform through a press release. And the least we can say is that they will change many things! So the rumors were true.

Still manufactured by CATL, but this time in Europe and the United States, in addition to China, the future batteries of BMW will look a lot like the revolutionary 4680 of Tesla. Indeed, cylindrical type and more colorful, their diameter (46 mm) will be similar to those of Tesla, while there will be two heights: 95 and 120 mm, as we learn the media Numerama present at the presentation.

According to BMW, this new format will increase energy density by 20%. This is also made possible by more nickel and less cobalt on the cathode, thanks to more silicon on the anode.


Finally, BMW is announcing a 30% increase in range for the model with the longest range. If we read between the lines and take the current BMW i4 and its 593 km of autonomy on the WLTP cycle, the future electric BMW 3 Series would reach theoretical freedom of about 770 km! That’s more than the current Mercedes-Benz EQS 450+ with its 725 km and almost as much as the future Zeekr 001, which arrives in 2023.

But the German manufacturer has not stopped there. Indeed, these new batteries will also allow a considerable increase in charging power. BMW is announcing a 30% reduction in charging time, thanks in particular to the use of 800-volt technology (under 500 amps), which already equips the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6 and Porsche Taycan. It would only take about 20 minutes to go from 10 to 80 percent charge.


The other good news for consumers is the cost reduction associated with these new batteries. The manufacturer with the propeller thus advances a figure of 50% for the price of the battery compared to the current generation, which one finds in particular on the BMW i4.

Knowing that a battery easily costs between 20 to 30,000 euros on an electric car, a reduction of half of its price should make electric vehicles more affordable. On this subject, the Tesla Model Y could cost much less (we are talking about a saving of 5,000 euros) when it is equipped with the famous 4680 batteries instead of the current 2170. The objective is for BMW to have a similar production cost between electric cars and their thermal counterparts.


BMW confirms the rumors and announces that it has signed a partnership with CATL and EVE Energy to construct six Gigafactories: two in China, two in Europe and two in the United States. For North America, another partner is likely to be chosen. Each plant would have a production capacity of 20 GWh per year, for a total of 120 GWh per year.

This is enough to produce about 1.5 million electric cars per year. This compares with the 2.2 million vehicles that the German manufacturer will make in 2021, all engines combined. CATL has already opened a Gigafactory in Germany for all its European customers.


From an ecological point of view, the new batteries will emit 60% less CO2 during their manufacturing phase, from their extraction to their production in CATL’s factories. This is thanks to recycled materials and the renewable energies used in manufacturing the batteries. And as the battery is the element with the highest carbon footprint on an electric car, this is very good news.

Regarding cobalt, BMW says it works exclusively with certified suppliers, in particular, to prevent the use of illegal labor. But the German company also specifies that LFP (lithium iron phosphate) batteries will also be used, making it possible to do without cobalt and nickel. This is already the case of some manufacturers, such as Tesla, on its Propulsion models, with the disadvantage of lower autonomies due to a less important energy density than for NMA and NCM technologies.