Contemporary Amperex Technology Co (CATL) said it would begin supplying German automaker BMW with cylindrical battery cells for its next generation of electric vehicles beginning in 2025.
CATL said it had signed an agreement with BMW “in which it is nominated as the supplier of the cylindrical cells for the German carmaker, CATL said without elaborating,” according to a report from Reuters.
BMW and CATL have been in a supply partnership for a decade, but the Chinese firm is looking to expand its production and manufacturing footprint into the North American market. It will spend $5 billion to establish the plant in the United States, with the most likely locations for the new facility being in South Carolina and Kentucky. BMW operates an assembly plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and already has a partnership with CATL in Europe.
By 2025, BMW plans to launch a dedicated EV platform that will bring its products to the forefront of the electric vehicle industry, hopefully on par with sector leader Tesla. Tesla has long focused on manufacturing improvements as well as technology advances, including through the development of its own battery cell, which is known as the 4680. Unveiled in late 2020, the 4680 cell aims to provide electric vehicle drivers with significantly more range and power.
CATL has had a supply deal with Tesla for several years, first beginning in early 2020 as the automaker started producing vehicles in China at its Gigafactory Shanghai production facility.
Currently, BMW’s iX is the main focus of the EVs the company offers. The iX packs 516 horsepower and 324 miles of range in all three of its trims: the Convenience, starting at $88,050, Premium at $93,175, and Sport at $94,325. 0-60 MPH acceleration tops out at just 4.4 seconds, which is about nine-tenths of a second slower than the Tesla Model Y Performance. Tesla’s fastest variant for the all-electric crossover will get you to 60 MPH from a standstill in just 3.5 seconds.
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