A REPORT published by Reuters this week says China’s EVE Energy Co. will supply BMW with cylindrical-style battery cells for its Neue Klasse (New Class) electric vehicles.

The battery cells, which share a similar design to those utilised by Tesla, will be installed in BMW EVs from 2025 onwards, with Guangdong-based EVE saying it has signed contracts to be BMW’s primary supplier of battery cells in Europe.

Neue Klasse models will include premium mid-size models such as the 3 Series which will feature new architecture that supports the placement of larger, cylindrical battery cells.

Tesla started manufacturing new larger format 4680 cylindrical battery cells – denoting 46mm in diameter and 80mm in length – from this year. It said the batteries are cheaper to produce and offer greater range than its 2170 cells.

It is understood that EVE’s cylindrical batteries are similar in size to those used by Tesla.

EVE is ramping up to produce a new manufacturing facility in central China to produce its new batteries as a greater number of customers move to large-format cylindrical batteries and away from prismatic cells.

China’s CATL is also due to start supplying batteries to BMW from 2025. Reuters says it expects these batteries will also be a large-format cylindrical type.

BMW has existing battery contracts with firms including CATL, EVE Energy, Samsung SDI and Northvolt.

The news comes just weeks after BMW announced that it was trialling a new dual-chemistry battery with technology start-up Our Next Energy (ONE).

ONE is integrating its range-extending Gemini battery pack into a BMW iX SUV to determine if the technology can deliver a real-world driving range of up to 965km – or around 325km more than model’s factory claim.

The pack marries a base lithium iron phosphate battery with separate nickel and cobalt modules. ONE says the chemistry combination is designed for long range applications and that it has already proven the technology in a Tesla Model S, which travelled 1210km on a single charge in December last year.

The BMW iX will give further proof of the concept and is backed by BMW’s i Ventures venture capital arm which led ONE’s $US65 million ($A94.3m) funding round last October.

Meanwhile, BMW’s Neue Klasse vehicles will utilise a new EV-only platform (as opposed to the currently utilised CLAR platform) the manufacturer says will allow it to produce better, dedicated electric vehicles. The first two models are expected to be electric versions of the 3 Series and X3 and will likely be named i3 and iX3 respectively.

GoAuto understands the vehicles will initially be assembled at BMW’s Debrecen plant in Hungary, alongside CATL’s forthcoming battery facility, and at its homebase in Munich, Germany, before a third facility comes online in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, in 2027.

BMW has said previously that 50 per cent of its range will be battery electric by the end of the decade, but that it will continue to offer combustion and hybridised vehicles, primarily in emerging markets.

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