Aug 17, 2022 - 03:19 pm

Eve Energy rumoured to BMW’s new battery supplier

Chinese battery cell manufacturer Eve Energy will be the main supplier of battery cells in Europe for BMW’s ‘New Class’ electric cars from 2025, according to an agency report. To this end, Eve Energy is probably also planning a battery plant in Hungary in the immediate vicinity of the BMW vehicle plant.

This is reported by Reuters with reference to two insiders. According to one of the informants, the contracts have already been signed. Eve Energy would not comment on the information. A BMW spokesperson indicated that the company plans to release “some battery-related news in early September” – BMW did not go into details about the current report.

Eve Energy already supplies battery cells to BMW in China, and is expected to supply the carmaker with large-format round cells in the future. BMW is reportedly planning to use battery cells with a diameter of 46 mm and a flexible height depending on the vehicle type. In the current generation of electric vehicles, the Munich-based company still relies on prismatic cells from suppliers such as CATL and Samsung SDI – for example in the i4, iX and i7.

It is not yet entirely certain where Eve Energy will build the round cells for BMW. Reuters writes, citing company documents, that Eve Energy is planning a large factory for cylindrical cells in central China. In April, Eve Energy announced that it would build a 50 GWh factory in Chengdu, but did not specify which cell format. Eve Energy already has such knowledge, as the company is the production partner for the extremely fast-charging 4680 cells of the Israeli battery developer StoreDot. However, it is not known whether this technology will also be used in the large-volume round cells for BMW.

In perspective, Eve Energy could also supply the BMW plant under construction in Debrecen, Hungary, where the New Class will initially be built, locally. Already at the end of March, there were reports that Eve Energy also wants to build its first European battery cell factory in Debrecen. According to the announcement at the time, Eve Energy had signed a non-binding letter of intent with the municipality to acquire 45 hectares in an industrial area to build a cylindrical cell production plant there.

This fits in with BMW’s plans, which have since come to light. In May, there were reports that BMW plans to switch from prismatic cells to round cells for the New Class. Later, there were further reports from South Korea and from the German publication Süddeutsche Zeitung that it would be round cells with a diameter of 46 millimetres. Unlike Tesla, however, BMW had not committed itself to the fixed 4680 format (with a length of 80 millimetres), but to a flexible height depending on the type of vehicle.

Since it was also known at the time that Samsung SDI was planning a production plant for such 46XX cells with heights between 40 and 60 millimetres, it was assumed that the Korean cell manufacturer had been awarded the contract by BMW.

A few days ago, CATL also announced plans to build a 100 GWh battery cell factory in Debrecen. BMW’s competitor Mercedes-Benz immediately announced that it would be the main customer of CATL’s new Hungarian plant – there was no mention of round cells at the time. According to the Reuters report, however, BMW could also be supplied from the CATL factory.

In view of the information available, it seems quite possible that Eve Energy will also supply BMW with cells for its European vehicles in the future. Whether Eve Energy will be the main supplier directly or, in view of the factory plans of CATL and Samsung SDI, one of several suppliers, will probably only be revealed by the BMW announcement at the beginning of September.

reuters.comyicaiglobal.com (Hungary)

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Found on electrive.com
https://www.electrive.com/2022/08/17/eve-energy-rumoured-to-bmws-new-battery-supplier/
17.08.2022 15:15