VW thinks it has a winning formula for EV batteries: More Nickel
Frank Blome, head of battery cell development at Volkswagen, told analysts on a conference call recently that his company will increase the amount of nickel used in its electric car battery cells to 80% next year. At the present time, VW battery cells are 65% nickel, 15% cobalt, and 20% manganese. In addition to the higher amount of nickel, the new battery chemistry will include 10% cobalt and 10% manganese, according to a report by Reuters.
Blome did not indicate what company will manufacture the new battery cells for Volkswagen. At present, much of its supply comes from a CATL factory in Poland but it is partnering with Northvolt to build a new battery factory in Sitzgitter, Germany.
Electric BMW 7 Series Coming
If a heavier all-electric version is going to surpass those numbers, it will have to be a pretty awesome beast of a car. Since the current car is planned to go out of production in 2022, it is logical to assume the next version will start production the same year, but whether that means the battery powered car will be available at the same time is unknown.
Zipse says the company’s strategy means “different drive technologies will coexist alongside one another into the long-term.” EV advocates will bemoan such a mixed use plan. If the Tesla Model S taught the world anything, it is that any chassis designed to accommodate internal combustion engines and electric powertrains will necessarily require compromises that detract from the benefits of battery electric power. Whether BMW will be able to build a world class electric automobile with one foot firmly planted in the past remains to be seen.
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