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BMW orders battery cells worth €10bn to support e-mobility

BMW secures long term battery cell needs for electric vehicles

BMW has ordered more than €10bn worth of battery cells from Chinese battery cell maker Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) and Samsung SDI.

BMW said it had boosted its order with CATL to 7.3bn from an original booking announced in mid-2018 that was worth 4bn. It said the contract would last from 2020 to 2031, reports Reuters.

The German car manufacturer revealed it had also signed a battery supply contract with Samsung SDI worth 2.9 billion euros, valid from 2021 to 2031. 

BMW said it would get the cobalt it needs for cell production from mines in Australia and Morocco and provide it to CATL and Samsung SDI. It said it would source the lithium from mines including in Australia.

“We strongly supported and played an active part in establishing CATL in Germany,” said Dr. Andreas Wendt, a member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for its Purchasing and Supplier Network, speaking at a supplier event in South Korea.

“We are securing our long-term battery cell needs. Every cell generation is awarded in global competition to the leading manufacturer from both a technology and a business perspective. This ensures we always have access to the best possible cell technology.”

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BMW plans to have 25 electrified models in its offering by 2023, with more than half of them fully electric. It expects sales of electrified vehicles to double between 2019 and 2021.

Europe’s auto industry is promoting zero-emissions cars as a way to comply with clean air rules, a strategy shift which forces carmakers to retool their supply chains to build electric, rather than combustion engine cars.