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BMW's range of the future: almost 1000 kilometres in the test

2023-12-10T13:18:33.480Z

Highlights: BMW's range of the future: almost 1000 kilometres in the test. BMW's U.S. partner is apparently struggling with financial problems. Other companies are also working feverishly on production of batteries for ranges of 1000 km. Meanwhile, Michigan-based technology specialist ONE is planning to soon bring an accumulator called "Gemini 001" to series production readiness. If an electric car from BMW or another manufacturer can travel almost 1000km without intermediate charging, this would be a significant step forward compared to electric cars of the past.



Status: 10.12.2023, 13:58 PM

By: Patrick Freiwah

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A test project between BMW and its US partner ONE is bearing fruit: the prototype of an electric SUV iX has an impressive range thanks to innovative technology.

Detroit/Munich - In addition to the purchase price, the range of an electric car is probably the most important point for the purchase. Although BMW models are likely to continue to be in the high-cost premium segment, the latter aspect offers a technological quantum leap: thanks to innovative battery technology, the prototype of a BMW iX has mastered a range of almost 1000 kilometres without intermediate charging.

As BMW's partner Our Next Energy (ONE) announced, the result within the framework of the globally harmonized test procedure (WLTP) was exactly 608.1 miles, which corresponds to the equivalent of 978 kilometers. This value, determined in the USA, corresponds to about twice the range of a conventional model type of BMW iX.

BMW iX with a range of almost 1000 km thanks to innovative battery technology

If the ranges of electric cars can keep up with those of combustion models in the future, a major obstacle in favor of electromobility will have been eliminated. But new electric cars of the future also promise improvement in terms of prices: "The Gemini battery has shown that it can double the range of electric vehicles and overcome the biggest obstacle to electrification," says Mujeeb Ijaz, CEO of Our Next Energy.

The remarkable performance of the BMW prototype is thanks to an innovative battery technology. It is a dual-chemistry battery architecture called "Gemini" that includes two different cell types. On the one hand, these are lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cells, which act as the main propulsion system.

According to the data, they stand for the basic energy density, but a high durability to cover the requirements of about 99 percent of driving operation with a range of about 240 km.

Prototype of the BMW iX from Our Next Energy put to the test. © Our Next Energy

BMW partner ONE develops battery with two cell types - and fewer raw materials

In addition, and this is the second component, there are anode-free cells: they have a significantly higher energy density and are said to be able to extend the range by more than 700 km. The special feature: The energy source acts as a so-called "range extender" and is intended to charge the LFP cells during longer journeys. As for the reason, the company explains: "We assume that the high-energy, anode-free batteries will not come close to the durability (lifespan) and power density of the LFP battery cells."

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In addition to the longer range, ONE's Genesis battery apparently reduces another problem of accumulators: the scarcity of raw materials. As a result, the innovative new development should require significantly fewer resources. There is talk of 20 percent less lithium and 60 percent less graphite, and the use of nickel and cobalt will also be minimized. This not only has an ecological impact, but also reduces production costs, a press release explains.

BMW electric car soon with a range of 1000 km? Partners under financial pressure

Meanwhile, Michigan-based technology specialist ONE is planning to soon bring an accumulator called "Gemini 001" to series production readiness that is completely free of cobalt, which is extracted under questionable conditions.

If an electric car from BMW or another manufacturer can travel almost 1000 kilometres without intermediate charging, this would be a significant step forward compared to electric cars of the current generation. What the start-up ONE has not published any information about, however, are the test conditions: For example, it remains unclear at what average speed and climatic conditions the range was achieved with the iX from BMW. Other car companies are also working feverishly on production-ready batteries for ranges of 1000 km.

Meanwhile, BMW's U.S. partner is apparently struggling with financial problems: According to Reuters, about 25 percent of Our Next Energy's workforce had to leave in November. The reason given was the general economic situation, including high borrowing costs. (PF)

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-12-10

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