BMW to foray into battery manufacturing, plans five battery Gigafactories
BMW becomes the latest automaker that plans to foray into battery manufacturing for its electric vehicle portfolio. The German luxury carmaker seems to be readying to follow the steps of Volkswagen Group, Mercedes-Benz, General Motors to enter into battery manufacturing segment, reports Manager Magazin. This comes as a 180-degree shift from the automaker's philosophy it revealed last year when the company's CTO Frank Weber said that battery technology keeps evolving and frequent changes to the cell chemistry make it unfeasible to invest in a factory to build certain types of battery packs.
Now as the automaker aims to enter battery production, it plans to join hands with partners to build five battery gigafactories around the world, which will be strategically positioned where the automaker is making EVs in order to cut its logistics costs. This revelation came from Joachim Post, a member of the Board of Management of BMW AG.
BMW has been aiming at solid-state batteries for its ambition of EV battery making. The solid-state batteries are claimed to be more energy-efficient and offer better range, improved thermal efficiency and significantly better performance as well.
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Speaking at the BMW Group’s Annual Media Conference, Joachim Post outlined the OEM's battery production plans. “In the future, we will also operate gigafactories in the regions where we produce electric cars," he said without divulging specifics. The company has already signed agreements with partners such as CATL, Northvolt, and Samsung SDI.
BMW aims to have a strong battery supply chain to bolster its EV portfolio. CEO Oliver Zipse previously announced an ambitious target for battery-powered electric cars to account for at least half of BMW's total sales by 2030. That is when both its subsidiaries Mini and Rolls-Royce will go purely electric in the next decade.