BMW will procure batteries for its upcoming electric vehicles from China’s EVE Energy Co Ltd. The German automaker will follow Tesla’s lead, using batteries composed of large, cylindrical cells, as part of the deal.
Reuters reports that EVE has signed a deal to become BMW‘s primary supplier of battery cells in Europe and will build a production plant in Debrecen, Hungary to accomplish that. Citing unnamed sources with knowledge of the deal, the outlet indicates that the new batteries will make their way into vehicles due to hit the market as of 2025.
The batteries will be cylindrical, like the 4680 batteries that are being produced by Tesla this year. Those cells are 46 mm (1.8 inches) in diameter by 80 mm (3.1-inches) long, hence the name, and EVE’s batteries will be similarly sized.
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That is larger than Tesla‘s current 2170 cylindrical cells, as well as the majority of cells used by other automakers, including BMW. In addition, most others use prismatic units whose rectangular shape makes them easier to fit into a battery pack.
Proponents of the cylindrical cell, though, argue that the format has become more cost-effective because their superior energy density means that fewer need to be stuffed into a battery pack, reducing the materials required and making it the superior choice. Indeed, like Tesla and now EVE, CATL, China’s largest battery producer, is also set to start producing cylindrical cell batteries in 2025.
CATL announced previously that it would build the largest battery plant in Europe, also in Debrecen. With annual capacity of 100 gigawatt hours, Mercedes-Benz will be its largest client.
BMW, though, will also be a CATL client, and plans to build a factory near the city. There, it will manufacture EVs based on its Neue Klasse platform.