BMW, JLR join forces for electric drivetrains

BMW, JLR join forces for electric drivetrains

Business news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

A BMW Group press release states that BMW and JLR share the strategic vision of environmentally friendly and future-oriented electric drive technologies. The BMW Group also has extensive experience in the field of e-mobility through the independent development and production of several generations of e-drives since the market launch of the future-oriented and fully electric BMW i3 in 2013. Jaguar Land Rover has demonstrated its expertise in this technology with the introduction of the Jaguar I-Pace and its plug-in hybrid models.

The BMW Group’s most advanced electrical technology to date includes an electric motor, transmission and power electronics in a single housing. This electric machine is characterised by the fact that it does not require rare earths. This enables the company to reduce its dependence on such materials.

Next year, BMW plans to introduce the fifth generation (“Gen 5”) of its eDrive technology with the BMW iX3 Sports Activity Vehicle. The Gen 5 electric drive unit is the system on which future developments introduced together with JLR will be based.

“The automotive industry is undergoing a profound transformation. We see cooperation as a key to success – also in the field of electrification,” says BMW’s press release. “With Jaguar Land Rover, the company has found a partner with similar requirements for the future generation of electric drives.”

The cooperation should enable BMW and JLR to achieve economies of scale in the areas of development, production and joint purchasing. A joint team of experts from the BMW Group and Jaguar Land Rover is to further develop the Gen 5 drive units in Munich. The electric drives will be manufactured separately at the respective company’s locations. Both companies will take care to maintain their brand specific core.

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On the occasion of the announcement of the cooperation, Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the BMW Board of Management responsible for R&D, emphasised the technological openness in the development of future drives. In addition to the further optimization of combustion engines, the company intends to push ahead with the development of plug-in hybrids as well as battery electric vehicles. BMW will also continue to invest in the development of fuel cells.

In recent weeks, industry observers have increasingly criticized BMW’s slowness in developing electric vehicles. Hydrogen technology had also become rather quiet in recent years, while main competitors such as Daimler, Audi and Volkswagen announced numerous new electric models as well as progress in the hydrogen field. Not to mention the speed at which Far Eastern competitors, especially in China, are pushing ahead with the electrification of drives.

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Toyota gets ready for mass production of fuel cells

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