BMW New class of electric cars with up to 1341 hp – CleanTechnica.de | CarTailz

BMW was quick out of the gate at the start of the EV revolution with its first battery electric car, the i3. It featured a lot of innovative thinking, notably the use of a predominantly carbon fiber chassis, but suffered from a modest range at a time when there was virtually no public charging infrastructure. The company offered a model with a range extender motor that seemed like the ideal solution to the range and charging problem, but US regulators effectively killed it by insisting the motor not activate until the battery has reached a state of charge of about 5%.

At that point, the motor could charge the battery or move the car forward, but it couldn’t do both. Sales of the i3 continued elsewhere but never waned in the US. BMW was left in America with a small black eye and a PR disaster, neither of which it deserved. The i3 debacle also helped fuel a belief among US drivers that electric cars really weren’t ready for prime time, a mindset that’s just beginning to change.

Since then, BMW has stumbled and stumbled its way forward. The current EV offerings are fine and owners seem to like them, but they really haven’t broken any new ground, except in the design department. Love ’em or hate ’em, the new BMW electrics are unmistakable!

It’s been well over a decade since the i3 was launched and a lot has happened in the world of electric cars since then. BMW is now ready to launch its third generation electric cars with the brand new Neue Klasse chassis. The first models aren’t scheduled to arrive until 2025, but the company is already touting their miracles.

A press release in September said the new cars would reduce embedded CO2 emissions – mainly through improvements in battery manufacturing – and greatly increase the use of recycled materials, while making cars themselves more recyclable when they reach end of life , life will be improved. BMW says $4 trillion worth of materials will be needed for battery production by 2050. 45% of emissions come from the manufacture and use of raw materials, and only 9% of all materials are currently recycled.

Presentation of the new class

Recently, BMW held a splashy press event for its new class vehicles and CAR Magazine was there to report on the celebrations. “With the New Class Lineup we are making a huge leap in technology,” announced Chief Technology Officer Frank Weber at the beginning.

That starts with a new “pack to open body” concept that allows BMW to adapt its battery sizes to each model. As we have already reported, BMW will move away from the previous prismatic cells and switch to round battery cells. They are 46mm in diameter – a configuration developed by Tesla – but can be of different lengths to suit the needs of each individual use case.

Where Tesla exclusively uses 4680 cells, BMW says it will use 46120 cells for its new SUVs and 4695 cells for sedans. (Samsung SDI says it is working on 4640 and 4660 battery cells for a “major European manufacturer. Hmm…) CATL, EVE and Northvolt will supply the new battery cells. “Our highly focused pack-to-open-body concept is pioneering a truly innovative approach to battery integration and final assembly,” says Weber.

The batteries are available in different chemistries to emphasize maximum performance, longer range, slower degradation or lower cost. The materials used include nickel, lithium, manganese, iron, silicon and phosphate. It all adds up to up to 20% higher energy density, 30% better packaging efficiency, up to 30% more range and up to 30% faster charging compared to the batteries currently in use. The company adds that manufacturing costs can also be up to 50% lower.

While other manufacturers with a similar cell-to-chassis concept try to fill every crack with a battery or two, BMW relies on an easy-to-assemble modular solution that increases torsional rigidity, lowers the center of gravity and aids in repair and maintenance work.

“The combination of an 800-volt system and a high-performance charger increases the range by 50 kilometers every minute up to a maximum of 600 kilometers,” says Weber. That’s about 12 minutes to charge from zero to 95%. NOW the EV revolution is getting serious!

power to the people

The chassis of the Neue Klasse can accommodate up to four motors and is flexible enough to meet the needs of the company’s entire electric car range, from the 1 Series to the large X7. While most future E-models will feature basic RWD and AWD configurations with one or two current-excited synchronous SSM units (separately excited) driving the rear wheels, the full-blooded M-cars are expected to feature a quad-motor -Layout for ultimate grip and extreme torque vectoring.

Why SSM instead of ASM (asynchronously excited) or PSM (permanently excited)? Because, according to BMW, only SSM guarantees stable peak performance, high energy density, excellent repeatability and low noise emissions together with an efficiency of 97%.

Power ranges from 268 hp to a stellar 1341 hp. The battery pack sizes range from 75 kWh to 150 kWh. “Relying on cell performance and extreme range is not the solution because the size and weight disadvantages are counterproductive,” says Weber. “Instead, we need to get the most out of every watt-hour by further reducing rolling resistance, improving aerodynamics and increasing energy efficiency onboard.”

Thomas Albrecht, Head of Efficient Dynamics, claims that the New Class vehicles will outperform previous architectures by at least 25% in terms of aerodynamic efficiency. CAR Magazine says an active multi-zone Autobahn mode is in the works to further limit drag above 70mph while improving downforce through fast corners. Also in the pipeline are so-called A+ tires, which are said to reduce rolling resistance by up to 7%. Modified low-loss wheel bearings and friction-optimized brakes contribute another 4%.

What about styling?

When asked about the supposedly dramatic design changes in the works for the Neue Klasse, Weber tight-lipped. “All I can say at the moment is that the Neue Klasse cars will be a visual breakthrough that leaves no stone unturned.” CAR Magazine says his sources believe Weber and his chief stylists chose a pragmatic and cost-effective in-between fusion between the current rodent tooth (their term, not ours, but if the shoe fits…) a focused design and a completely different front-end look.

The new low-drag i3, due for release in 2025, introduces several proportions defined by the forward-facing greenhouse, notably a longer wheelbase, shorter front overhang and a unique slipstream rear. Of course, that’s the direction all electric cars should go. We no longer have cars with 8, 10, 12 or 16 cylinder engines in the front. An electric vehicle platform enables designers to do things that were never possible before, but most were reluctant to deviate too far from conventional expectations.

BMW will offer affordable electric cars

Mercedes said in July it is targeting the high-end of the market with its new electric cars, spending 75% of its development budget on its “core luxury” C- and E-class vehicles. BMW boss Oliver Zipse said at a conference organized by Robert Bosch this week: “We are not leaving the lower end of the market. Even if you see yourself as a premium manufacturer, it is wrong to leave the lower end of the market, which will be the core of your business in the future.”

This is welcome news. While we here at CleanTechnica We celebrate all the latest in electric cars, trucks, buses, forklifts and airplanes. We worry that too few manufacturers are targeting the part of the market served by the Corolla, Civic and Elantra models today. Only Chevrolet appears to be seriously considering this part of the market with its Bolt and forthcoming Equinox offerings.

It sounds like the BMW cars built on the Neue Klasse chassis will bring an exciting boost to the entire EV revolution, not just the top of the market.


 

Do you appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and coverage of CleanTechnica? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador—or a Patron on Patreon.


Don’t want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily CleanTechnica news updates via email. Or follow us on Google News!


Do you have a tip for CleanTechnica, would you like to advertise or suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk Podcast? Contact us here.


advertisement




Leave a Comment