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BMW moves to drive battery development

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Battery cell productionGerman carmaker BMW has formed a technology consortium with battery developer Northvolt and Umicore, a producer of active materials for battery cells, to develop a complete and sustainable value chain for batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) in Europe.

BMW said its chief objective was to make battery cells sustainable by establishing a closed life cycle loop that covered design, manufacturing via mainly renewable energy, primary use as a drive battery, possible secondary use for stationary energy storage, recycling of the cell and reuse of the raw materials.

BMW said the consortium would work on a scale-up line, research centre, and tests on industrialising battery cells before large-scale production.

The carmaker is already manufacturing modules with supplied battery cells to use in batteries for plug-in hybrids and battery-powered EVs.

“With its battery cell production, Northvolt provides the final element needed for purely European production of complete batteries for electric mobility applications in future, resulting in a substantial reduction in carbon emissions,” stated the vehicle OEM.

“As batteries are becoming a key strategic question for car manufacturers, this partnership highlights the importance of sustainable battery cells in the coming wave of electrification,” added Peter Carlsson, Northvolt’s CEO.

Umicore of Belgium, which operates a recycling plant for lithium-ion batteries in Europe, is currently planning to build a cathode material manufacturing unit on the continent.