CATL will supply BMW with cylindrical battery cells for its next electric cars

At BMW, everything points to significant changes in the coming years. Particularly, in the year 2025 the new electric models signed by the “Neue Klasse” will land of which we have already been able to speak numerous times. Now, Reuters mentions a new change for that year, and it will be none other than the arrival of the new battery cells CATL to BMW, now in cylindrical format despite the fact that the Munich brand has always been assiduous in using prismatic-type packaging.

This news comes from a leak to the media Reuters and for which much more specific data is not specified about the reason for this novelty for the Germans, although all the rumors point to a tendency to get carried away by movements previously made by Tesla and, in particular, save production costs.

From BMW they have not given details about it. However, from CATL they have given small touches, such as the new format that battery cells for BMW will take from 2025 or on which models will be assembled, alluding to those known as “Neue Klasse”. However, the biggest surprise comes from the format chosen for these cells, since BMW have so far opted for the choice of prismatic cells, which were also produced by CATL. In other words, there would be no changes regarding the supplier, but there would be changes regarding its cell format. Although, as we say, from BMW they have not yet given explanations in this regard, there must be a compelling reason to carry out such a relevant change.

So far BMW has used the prismatic type packaging
Until now BMW has used prismatic type packaging.

At the beginning of this month of May, the first rumors about a change in cell format came to the fore, taking advantage of the arrival of the electric BMW “Neue Klasse”, now we could take this rumor for granted. One of the main reasons for this change would be cost savings.since the choice of the cylindrical format could be presented as 30% more affordable than the prismatic cells used up to now.

Currently, the list of battery cell suppliers for the BMW Group consists of Samsung SDI, CATL, EVE Energy and Northvolt. As stated in the aforementioned report released by Reuters, Those responsible for the Munich company would go on to demand a total change towards cylindrical type cells from all its partners. mentioned, something that could cause some other headache to these specialized companies.

Despite this paradigm shift, no specific details are yet known in this regard, because although cylindrical cells are spoken of, the truth is that their sizes can present a notable difference between one and the other. For example, Tesla updated its range to incorporate the new type 4680 cells (46 mm in diameter and 80 mm in length), although previously it also used the 2170 and 1865. We expect BMW to release its confirmation in the coming days.

As we say, this movement could have significant cost savings in its sights, since cylindrical cells have a significantly lower price than the prismatic ones used up to now. Due to the increase in manufacturing costs -especially batteries- brands continue to seek economic savings. Today, electric car manufacturers are paying an average of 118 dollars per kWh of batteries, of which 80% of the aforementioned total price would be represented by the cost of the cells themselves.

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