BMW-led consortium plans to establish green battery production in Europe: Page 2 of 3

October 16, 2018 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
BMW-led consortium plans to establish green battery production in Europe
When it comes to battery production, Europe depends on East Asia, and lithium-ion batteries are not exactly considered environmentally friendly because of the production conditions and the unresolved recycling issue. Now BMW has teamed up with Swedish battery manufacturer Northvolt and Belgian materials technology expert Umicore to change this.

In order to accelerate the development of battery cells and make progress in terms of cell chemistry and cell design, the BMW Group’s planned battery cell centre of excellence will be inaugurated in summer 2019. Besides battery cell development, other key skills will be pooled there too, from the production of battery cell prototypes to build-to-print expertise.

This is important for the BMW Group as a way of endowing potential suppliers for cell production with the necessary skills to meet its own requirements. The carmaker is already investing in the entire value chain today and, by so doing, hopes to play a leading role when it comes to sustainability. Consequently, ensuring that raw materials come from environmentally and socially responsible sources, obliging cell suppliers to reduce their carbon footprint, using recycled materials, and creating battery concepts that can be serviced and easily recycled are already high priorities for the BMW Group, which intends to continue strengthening its capabilities and expanding its activities in this area.

“The sustainability approach of Northvolt makes it a highly appealing company for us, that was furthermore very receptive to our ideas,” comments Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Development. For this reason, the BMW Group and Northvolt have been collaborating for some time now as part of a strategic technology project. The collaboration will leverage the capabilities of Northvolt Labs, a scale-up line and research facility which will be used to test and industrialize battery cells before large-scale production, with the aim of developing cutting-edge green battery cells. The collaboration has been supported by BMW Group through an investment to enable the initial phase of the partnership.

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