Groundbreaking ceremony for Eve Energy’s Hungarian battery factory

The Chinese battery cell manufacturer and BMW partner Eve Energy has started construction of its first European battery cell factory in Hungary. It is set to have an annual capacity of 28 gigawatt hours and will go into operation in 2026.

Image: Eve Energy

This was announced by company boss Liu Jincheng at an event in China, according to Gasgoo Autonews, without giving further details. The Eve Energy factory in Debrecen, Hungary, which was announced in May, will supply BMW with large cylindrical cells for New Class electric cars.

According to information from May, Eve Energy will invest around one billion euros in the factory. The Hungarian government is supporting the construction with 14 billion forints, the equivalent of around 38 million euros. The battery factory is being built on a 45-hectare site in the so-called Northwest Economic Belt, which is reserved for BMW suppliers.

BMW itself laid the foundation stone for its electric car plant in Debrecen in mid-2022, and in late summer and fall 2022, appointed a total of three suppliers to manufacture the new cylindrical-format battery cells in the ‘New Class’ electric models. In addition to Eve Energy, these are CATL and AESC. Together, they will cover the regions of North America, Europe and China with the construction of six factories.

The cylindrical cells from BMW are known to have a uniform diameter of 46 millimetres and two different heights (format: 46XX). According to BMW, the module level is no longer required for installation: the cylindrical cells are “flexibly and space-savingly integrated into the installation space”. The storage system takes on a supporting role in the body structure. In technical jargon, this battery concept is called “pack-to-open-body”.

In an interview published by the BMW press department, the car manufacturer’s battery experts explained the background to the switch from prismatic battery cells to cylindrical cells. “At the beginning of the process, we really started with a blank sheet of paper and were open to all cell formats and sizes. But given the ambitious targets in terms of performance and safety, we soon came to the conclusion that the round cell was the best format for our next generation,” said Peter Lamp, a long-time BMW battery developer. “It also fits best with our integration approach for the New Class: ‘cell-to-pack’ and ‘pack-to-open-body’.”, (interview, in German)


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