Bosch and Samsung SDI to supply lithium-ion battery cells for Bmw

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 30, 2010

BMW Group revealed that it has chosen SB LiMotive to supply it with battery cells for its Megacity Vehicle project. Because of this, BMW Group now has access to the latest in lithium-ion storage technology.

BMW AG’s Chairman of the Board of Management Norbert Reithofer explains that this choice is an important milestone in its goal to have the Megacity Vehicle under serial production. The most important part of an electric vehicle is the battery as it ultimately determines the performance of the vehicle and how far it will run.

By choosing SB LiMotive, he adds, the company has a supplier that offers the best technology in this area as it combines Korean battery know-how with German automotive expertise. This is because SB LiMotive is a 50:50 joint venture between Samsung SDI and Bosch.

With this, they have managed to bring together their expertise in order to make lithium-ion storage cells. Samsung SDI is the leader when it comes to lithium-ion batteries especially in laptops and mobile phones. Samsung SDI has more than proven its capability with millions of products that carry its name.

The problem is that integrating such a battery in an automobile needs to conform to higher standards when it comes to safety, durability, and operational stability. This is where Bosch comes in, with its more than a century of experience.

Chairman of the board of management at Robert Bosch GmbH Franz Fehrenbach shares that with this agreement, the three companies that are technology leaders in their own fields, have come together to bring about the future of electric vehicles.

Since the company has been chosen to supply the battery cells for the Megacity Vehicle project, it is clear that it will have a large role to play, he adds. Meanwhile according to Samsung SDI CEO Soon Taek Kim, the first objective is to make sure that BMW is supplied with the best battery technology with regards to safety, range, and performance.

The company also wants to show that these types of battery cells are an example of a sustainable product as it can be recycled or reused in other industries once it is used in a car, he continues. By choosing a battery supplier, BMW Group is further highlighting that it is indeed committed to electric mobility.

In addition, BMW Group will also be able to focus more on finding solutions to urban mobility and electric motoring, which is part of its Strategy Number ONE. Currently the first output of this particular project has been the MINI E.

The MINI E is a vehicle that runs on pure electricity and is undergoing a large-scale field test with around 600 vehicles in three major locations: Great Britain, Germany, and the U.S. The results of the field test will have a significant part in developing the serial version of the Megacity Vehicle and that of the battery technology. The serial production of this model is expected to start during the first half of the next decade.

Press Release

Milestone for future electric vehicle

The BMW Group has opted for SB LiMotive as the supplier of battery cells for the future project Megacity Vehicle. This gives the company access to state-of-the-art lithium-ion storage technology. “The decision is a major milestone along the way to serial production of the Megacity Vehicle. The battery is a key component in any electric vehicle - it determines the range and performance of the car. With SB LiMotive we have selected a supplier who offers the best available technology, combining leading German automotive expertise with future-oriented Korean battery know-how,” explains Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.

SB LiMotive is a 50:50 joint venture of Bosch and Samsung SDI. Here the two companies pool their expertise to develop and produce lithium-ion storage cells. Samsung SDI is a leader in the use of lithium-ion batteries in mobile phones and laptops. The technology has a proven track record in this area of application with millions of products to its name. However, integration in an automobile requires higher standards in terms of durability, operational stability and safety. Here, Bosch contributes its experience from a company history which goes back over 100 years.

“In this collaborative effort, three global technology leaders are coming together to shape the future of the electric vehicle. With our SB LiMotive joint venture as a supplier for the Megacity Vehicle’s battery cells, we are sure that we can play a major role here,” says Franz Fehrenbach, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH.

“Our foremost objective is to supply BMW with the best battery technology available in terms of performance, range, and safety. At the same time, we want to establish SB LiMotive lithium-ion battery cells as a sustainable product which, after being used in the car, can be reused in other areas or recycled,” says Soon Taek Kim, CEO of Samsung SDI.

By opting for a battery supplier, the BMW Group underscores its commitment to electric mobility. The company concentrates its activities relating to electric motoring and urban mobility solutions in project i, an initiative which forms part of Strategy Number ONE. The first outcome of project i is the MINI E: this purely electrically powered vehicle is currently the focus of a large-scale field test involving some 600 vehicles in the US, Great Britain and Germany. Insights gained during this field test will be just as essential to the serial development of both the Megacity Vehicle as the battery technology. The zero-emissions vehicle will go into serial production in the first half of the next decade.

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