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BMW Unveils Plans to Use Cylindrical Batteries in New EVs From 2025

By Scott Kanowsky -- Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (ETR:BMWG) has announced that it will use cylindrical battery cells to power its new electric vehicles set to debut in 2025, in a bid to accelerate charging times and increase the cars' driving range.

The German luxury carmaker said it has already awarded production contracts worth "multibillion" euros to China's CATL and EVE Energy. Both of these firms will manufacture the batteries at four gigafactories in China and Europe with a total annual capacity of up to 20 gigawatts hours, BMW added.

Two further sites are planned in the United States and Mexico, although BMW has yet to find a partner for these projects.

BMW called the cylindrical lithium-ion battery cells a "huge leap in technology" that will utilize more nickel and silicon to improve charging speed and driving range by up to 30%. Meanwhile, energy density will also be improved by over 20%, which will cut costs almost in half when compared to previous battery generations.

The company also pledged to bring manufacturing expenses for EVs down to the "same level as vehicles with state-of-the-art combustion-engine technology."

The shift to cylindrical battery cells, and away from the rectangular-shaped prismatic batteries it currently uses, follows a similar move by rival Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). Supporters of cylindrical batteries say its format - which is larger than prismatic batteries - can raise energy density and, in turn, be more cost-effective.

Shares in BMW traded higher after the announcement on Friday.

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