BMW buys battery cells from Swedish Northvolt

The Munich-based automaker will need more batteries for its electric cars in the future. BMW plans to buy from Northvolt for two billion euros.

The BMW group signs another billion-dollar supply contract for the supply of battery cells. As of 2024, the Munich-based company plans to purchase electricity storage from the Swedish supplier Northvolt for two billion euros. After Samsung and the Chinese supplier CATL, Northvolt is the third battery cell manufacturer to which BMW is committed in the long term.

Climate-neutral battery production

Northvolt is a Swedish startup that is funded by the EU, among others. The company primarily uses hydropower for the energy-intensive production of battery cells. The climate-neutral production of the cells is an essential criterion for the award for Northvolt, explained BMW boss Oliver Zipse. The group had agreed with all suppliers of the new battery generation to use only green electricity for the production of the cells.

Chart by Northvolt – (data source: Circular Energy Storage)

New plant for electric drives

BMW wants to manufacture all the essential components of the electric car itself, except for the battery cells. However, the group itself will monitor the further development of technology in its own research center. At the beginning of July, the group opened its new center for the production of electric drives in Dingolfing. Up to 500,000 electric drives are to be built here every year.

Rotor production at Dingolfing plant

25 electric BMW models by 2025

BMW plans to put 25 electrified models on the road by 2025, roughly half of them with hybrid and electric drives. In 2030, every second car sold in Europe should have an electric drive. The Munich-based company needs the electric models in order to be able to meet the climate goals in the European Union, which provide for a drastic reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

BMW iX3 electric SUV scheduled for production in 2021

Upcoming competition from Tesla

On the other hand, it is important to intercept the competitor Tesla. The electrical pioneer from California is currently building a factory in Grünheide near Berlin and plans to produce the Model Y SUV here in 2021. The Tesla offensive is aimed primarily at BMW customers. The Munich-based company is planning to launch the “i4” electric limousine on the market in 2021, and “iNEXT”, a car that is partially autonomous, is under development. From 2022, BMW also plans to equip its top models in the 7 and 5 series with electric drives.

Author: Nabeel K