BMW should abandon combustion models with “New Class”

BMW has apparently decided that the next generation of models based on the “New Class” platform scheduled for 2025 will be built exclusively with pure electric drive systems. In addition, another rumor about battery cells for the new architecture is confirmed.

The German publication Store Manager reflects this change in strategy. As recently as May, BMW CEO Oliver Zipse said when announcing the latest quarterly figures that the first model based on the new class would be purely electric. “When it hits the market it will be focused on the 3-series segment and by then the market will have reached a size where it is reasonable to have only one powertrain in this architecture,” Zipse explained at the time. . However, Zipse still left open the technically possible option to also later install combustion engines based on this architecture. Only the first model has been confirmed as a pure BEV.

But now BMW seems to be focusing exclusively on battery-electric drives for the new class, also for future models: Contrary to initial plans, the platform will no longer include options for petrol and diesel engines, nor for plug-in hybrids, the magazine writes, quoting the group’s senior executives.

However, this does not mean a complete elimination of the combustion engine: combustion engines can still be built on other BMW platforms, according to the report “probably also in new models”. However, the board has not yet decided on a new combustion engine model for the period after 2025. According to the report, new petrol and diesel models are possible “depending on demand and availability. batteries” – but not in the new class.

Store Manager concludes that BMW plans to phase out the internal combustion engine “more drastically than expected”. Zipse ended the faltering run – analysts had already blamed it in view of unclear and partly contradictory statements from board members about the New Class that it was not really clear “what this platform is “. Now, it seems to be emerging that it will be an electric-only platform.

In addition, rumors about the drive system of the internally named NK1 model seem to be confirmed. For the first model in the new class, BMW wants to develop an 800-volt drive architecture for the first time and use round cells for the battery, as a high-ranking BMW official has now confirmed. Suddeutsche Zeitung. There were reports of BMW switching from prismatic to round cells as early as May.

The SZ also provides details on the format of the round cells and their chemistry: they will be 46XX cells, that is to say with a diameter of 46 mm and a height that can be adjusted according to the type of vehicle. This corresponds to an earlier report from South Korea, according to which Samsung SDI, in addition to battery cells in the format requested by Tesla with a diameter of 46 mm and a height of 80 mm, is also developing variants for other car manufacturers. such as like BMW which also have a diameter of 46 mm, but the height is between 40 and 60 mm. According to SZ, NMC chemistry will be used in the cells, with nickel content increased to around 90% and cobalt content minimized.

With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany. (combustion models), (Battery)

Kevin A. Perras