BMW has announced that it will invest 200 million Euros (Rs 1,520 crore approx) over the next four years to build a new battery technology centre in Munich, Germany and develop new technologies there. This facility has been named the BMW Battery Cell Competence Centre. With this facility, BMW will focus its research on cell chemistry and cell design with the aim of improving performance, life, safety, charging as well as cost optimisation of batteries for electric vehicles (EVs). BMW is not the first company to announce such a facility. In fact in India, Suzuki has already planned a battery plant in Gujarat. However, this trend of in-house battery development for EVs will certainly ensure that the automobile businesses remain competitive even as they plan their shift to greener fuels and vehicles. It should be recalled that the government of India has mandated a move to EVs starting from 2021.
The 2018 BMW i3S headlines a new range of production and concept electric cars that underline BMW's focus on electric cars
At the moment, BMW as well as other international manufacturers source their batteries from Asian suppliers including Samsung. However, the German automaker says that bringing the technology in-house will let them design batteries which are better suited to specific products. However, this does not mean that BMW will not outsource the actual manufacture of the batteries once they have been developed. Meanwhile, the company has also announced that they are working on their fifth generation electric drivetrain for their cars, slated for release in 2021. This new drivetrain will bring a range of 690km to some of the BMW vehicles. The technology is also expected to trickle down to their electric motorcycles and scooters in the near future.