ElringKlinger scores major contract to outfit BMW Neue Klasse EVs
Automotive supplier ElringKlinger has scored a big contract with a term of several years. The company will supply cell contact systems to BMW Group series electric models in the new class (‘Neue Klasse’).
The high-volume series production for Europe is scheduled to start in 2025, with the plant in Neuffen, Baden-Württemberg, taking charge, according to ElringKlinger. Production and delivery for the Asian market will commence subsequently. The supplier says it will invest a double-digit million euro sum in the facilities and infrastructure to prepare for production.
BMW has not yet announced any Neue Klasse vehicles for Asia, but the step is obvious. In 2025, the first model in the new class, a 3 Series, is expected to roll off the production line at the new BMW plant in Debrecen, which will only produce electric cars based on this architecture. The Bavarian vehicle plants are likely to follow; production of New Class vehicles at the main plant in Munich is already confirmed from 2026 and for San Luis Potosi in Mexico from 2027, as reported. The US plant in South Carolina would also be an obvious choice, as cell partner Enivison is reportedly building a plant for round cells there.
Neue Klasse is a cluster architecture on which electric BMWs from the compact to the luxury segment will be based. It is known that BMW is using 800 volts system voltage and is switching from prismatic cells to round cells. Depending on the model, these will have a diameter of 46 millimetres and a height of 95 millimetres or 120 millimetres. Low models, such as saloons and estate cars, will use 4695 cells, while SUV models will use 46120 cells.
Cell contact systems sit atop the cell composite in the battery pack and pick up the voltage at cell contacts. They also perform voltage and temperature sensing tasks. Therefore, the cell contact systems are adapted to the respective battery pack, cell layout, and vehicle. ElringKlinger attests to the high degree of integration of its systems, which are “precisely tailored to customer requirements”.
The supplier has produced such systems in series for over ten years. No sales targets or quantities are disclosed for the BMW order. Still, the company emphasises that it is a “high-volume order for the E-Mobility business unit covering a period of several years”.
Dr Stefan Wolf, CEO of ElringKlinger AG, added that the contract would propel revenue beyond three billion euros in 2030. “It is orders like these in the areas of electromobility and lightweighting, our strategic fields of the future, that will help us in our pursuit of profitable growth until the end of the decade.”
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.