BMW taps Keysight to test fifth generation battery tech for 700km range

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The test systems will be installed in BMW’s €200m Battery Cell Competence Centre in Munich that is developing the powertrain and batteries that will be released in 2021. The electric motor, transmission and power electronics are combined in a new and separate electric-drive component that occupies significantly less space than the three separate components used in previous generations.

Integrating the electric motor, transmission and power electronics into a single component uses fewer parts and therefore saves costs, and the new motor does not require the use of rare earths so that BMW Group is no longer dependent on their availability. The batteries for the new drivetrain will extend the range of pure battery-electric vehicles to up to 700km and 100km for plug-in hybrid models.

In addition to providing battery test systems, Keysight will provide services ranging from laboratory planning to laboratory management tools, which are designed to allow effective workflow management and operation.

“We have been working with the BMW Group for twelve years in a very constructive and inspiring atmosphere,” said Dr. Michael Schugt, manager of Keysight’s Scienlab business.

In the labs, research and prototyping facilities, which will make up the battery cell competence centre, specialist departments analyse cell design and cell technology and create prototypes of future battery cells. BMW will then contract out production of battery cells produced to its exact product requirements and specifications. The company sees this core competence across the entire value chain from selection of materials, cell design, integration into battery systems, manufacturability and production technologies as a definite competitive edge.

The scalable electric modular systems used from 2020 will fit all model series with any drivetrain, according to demand. This allows BMW to meet the predicted demand for several hundred thousand electrified vehicles in 2025.


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