Compact drive techniques are the best way to go
In response to newest interview with Stefan Juraschek, Vice President Growth Electrical-Powertrain at BMW, the essential benefit of the upcoming fifth-generation drive system is excessive integration of electrical motor, transmission and energy electronics into single part.
The fifth era drive system to be extra succesful by way of performances and smaller, in addition to cheaper than the present era.
“A vital benefit of this fifth-generation system is that the electrical motor, transmission and energy electronics now type a single, extremely built-in electrical drive part. This extraordinarily compact unit takes up far much less house than the three separate elements utilized in previous generations. Its modular building implies that it’s scalable, too, permitting it to be modified to swimsuit all kinds of various set up areas and energy necessities. The BMW Group will begin to match the subsequent era of battery cells within the new, scalable and much more highly effective car batteries alongside the introduction of the brand new electrical drive elements. The modular “constructing block” idea will enable the brand new batteries to be integrated flexibly into each car structure. One other extremely built-in part can be added to the portfolio within the type of a DC/DC charger unit.”
The German producer prepares the brand new structure to attain flexibility and scalability of manufacturing of drive system and battery packs between varied fashions. All kinds (BEVs, PHEVs, HEVs and ICE) can be produced on the identical manufacturing traces.
“On the one hand, we could have versatile car architectures and, on the opposite, the scalable and modular constructing blocks for the electrical drive techniques. It will carry a couple of lasting enhance in flexibility. In future, we can swiftly resolve which fashions we’re going to equip with what mixture of all-electric drive, plug-in hybrid drive or exceptionally environment friendly combustion engines. It will allow us to partially or totally electrify every mannequin in accordance with market demand, creating the idea for the mass-market introduction of pure battery electrical automobiles sooner or later.”
The all-electric fashions can be as much as 700 km (435 miles) on a single cost in high configuration, whereas the plug-in hybrids are as much as 100 km (62 miles).
- BMW i3 (third mannequin evolution with 120 Ah)
- BMW i3s
BMW i8 Coupe (2nd mannequin evolution)
- BMW i8 Roadster
- BMW 740e and BMW 740Le
- BMW 530e
- BMW 225xe Lively Tourer
- MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4
- BMW X1 xDrive25Le (in China solely)
Upcoming fashions for 2019:
- BMW three Collection Sedan – new plug-in hybrid variant (2nd mannequin evolution)
- BMW X5
Upcoming fashions with fifth era drive system:
- BMW iX3 in 2020 (first primarily based on fifth era drivetrain)
- BMW i4
- BMW iNEXT
Plan for 2025:
- 25 plug-in automobiles, 12 BEVs and 13 PHEVs
Mr. Juraschek, was BMW gradual off the mark with electrical mobility?
Juraschek: No, completely not. The BMW Group really performed a pioneering function with BMW i. As we speak we’re the premium producer providing the widest vary of battery electrical automobiles and plug-in hybrids. We at the moment produce the next electrified fashions: the BMW i3 (third mannequin evolution with 120 Ah) , BMW i3s, BMW i8 Coupe, BMW i8 Roadster, BMW 740e, BMW 740Le, BMW 530e, BMW 225xe Lively Tourer, MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 and, in China, the BMW X1 xDrive25Le. Plus, now we have additionally introduced new plug-in hybrid variants of the three Collection Sedan and BMW X5 for 2019 following the arrival of recent mannequin generations. This quantity is about to develop to not less than 13 plug-in hybrid fashions by 2025. Including these to the huge choice of all-electric automobiles – whose vary is because of enhance considerably subsequent 12 months by the way – will carry the portfolio of electrified automobiles to not less than 25.
Gross sales topped the 100,000 mark final 12 months and could have grown by round 50% this 12 months.
Is the BMW Group ready if electrical mobility begins to collect momentum at an excellent larger tempo in future?
Juraschek: The BMW Group is already creating its fifth era of electrical drive techniques, which means that it has created a superb basis for the long run. This newest era will go into service as quickly as 2020 within the BMW iX3.
A vital benefit of this fifth-generation system is that the electrical motor, transmission and energy electronics now type a single, extremely built-in electrical drive part. This extraordinarily compact unit takes up far much less house than the three separate elements utilized in previous generations. Its modular building implies that it’s scalable, too, permitting it to be modified to swimsuit all kinds of various set up areas and energy necessities. The BMW Group will begin to match the subsequent era of battery cells within the new, scalable and much more highly effective car batteries alongside the introduction of the brand new electrical drive elements. The modular “constructing block” idea will enable the brand new batteries to be integrated flexibly into each car structure. One other extremely built-in part can be added to the portfolio within the type of a DC/DC charger unit.
So how will all of it work?
Juraschek: On the one hand, we could have versatile car architectures and, on the opposite, the scalable and modular constructing blocks for the electrical drive techniques. It will carry a couple of lasting enhance in flexibility. In future, we can swiftly resolve which fashions we’re going to equip with what mixture of all-electric drive, plug-in hybrid drive or exceptionally environment friendly combustion engines. It will allow us to partially or totally electrify every mannequin in accordance with market demand, creating the idea for the mass-market introduction of pure battery electrical automobiles sooner or later.
Don’t you suppose there’s a danger of not having the ability to acquire the required portions of uncooked supplies as soon as battery electrical automobiles begin to be produced in large numbers?
Juraschek: We don’t see any provide dangers, even within the occasion of rising demand for battery cells. My colleagues in Buying have secured a dependable provide with long-term contracts. We now have additionally constructed up in-house battery cell experience over the course of joint initiatives with worldwide companions all through the worth chain. That is used to make sure entry to the know-how and to safeguard provides. On the identical time, we’re additionally endeavouring to steadily decrease the proportion of vital uncooked supplies which might be used. For instance, one of many key goals of our analysis and improvement actions is to carry a couple of substantial discount within the proportion of cobalt in battery cells.
The electrical motor in our fifth-generation electrical powertrain is one other illustration of this, as it’s fully freed from uncommon earths.
Staying with regards to battery cells: Some well-known rivals of yours are using spherical cells or pouch cells. Why are you utilizing prismatic cells?
Juraschek: The prismatic onerous case association makes the battery modules extra appropriate for industrialisation by rising the extent of automation throughout module meeting. Moreover this, security techniques reminiscent of a security valve for shutting down the cell within the occasion of a brief circuit might be built-in extra simply. It additionally permits us to attain a better packing density, which means that optimum use might be manufactured from the set up house within the car.
Battery cell producers in China, Japan and Korea have been investing huge sums of cash in cell improvement and future battery applied sciences for years now. Is it nonetheless attainable to meet up with them, each technologically and economically? Juraschek: We don’t take into account any of our rivals to carry a bonus over us with regards to the battery know-how. When all of the traits are considered collectively, our battery know-how is on a par with or superior to the competitors’s, relying on the way you have a look at it. We now have been coping with the problem of battery cells since 2008 and are in a powerful place in the present day thanks, amongst different issues, to a global community of collaborations. For us, you will need to proceed to develop our in-house experience and hold advancing battery cell know-how. What’s extra, constructing battery cell prototypes and producing small batches permits us to totally analyse the manufacturing processes and purchase build-to-print capabilities. On this means, we will present system suppliers with precise directions primarily based on BMW Group specs, from materials choice by means of to cell manufacturing.
So why don’t you produce the battery cells yourselves? Juraschek: Within the BMW Group’s view, producing the cells wouldn’t give us a aggressive benefit, both now or in years to come back. We make electrical elements ourselves, utilizing our in-house manufacturing amenities, every time we expect there is a bonus to be gained from it, as is the case with the electrical powertrain. That’s why we use equipped battery cells to supply the modules ourselves, earlier than turning them into full high-voltage batteries.
Is it actually price doing that? Certainly you could possibly purchase the electrical motor from a provider as a substitute?
Juraschek: When the event plans for the BMW i3 grew to become tangible, there wasn’t a single electrical motor available on the market that might have met all our standards. And in the present day we’re nonetheless simply as unwilling to make any compromises with regards to key efficiency traits, reminiscent of house necessities, output and weight. Drive techniques have at all times been an space that has set the BMW Group other than the competitors. And precisely the identical applies to electrical drive techniques.
All electrical motors are mainly the identical, although. Can prospects actually discover a distinction?
Juraschek: The shopper might not be capable of establish each attribute of an electrical motor, however a big distinction does turn into obvious in head-to-head comparisons. Most likely the obvious factor that the shopper will discover is the pace as much as which the motor can maintain its efficiency. A extra oblique impact is that the car’s vary will drop quicker if the electrical motor operates much less effectively.
The BMW Group is working along with Northvolt and Umicore. Why is that precisely?
Juraschek: The target is to ascertain a closed lifecycle loop for sustainable battery cells in Europe. This begins with a recyclable cell design and continues with a manufacturing course of that primarily makes use of renewable energies. The battery cells ought to first fulfil their main objective in automobiles for so long as attainable. As soon as their lifecycle there involves an finish, they may doubtlessly be utilized in stationary vitality storage units. Lastly, the battery cell is recycled and the uncooked supplies reused, finishing the loop.
And what are the duties fulfilled by every of the three companions?
Juraschek: The BMW Group is specializing in cell improvement, Northvolt is constructing a cell manufacturing facility in Sweden and Umicore is the supplies cycle and recycling knowledgeable.
BMW had already provide you with some developments for supplies recycling. What do you now count on to attain by becoming a member of forces with Umicore?
Juraschek: Sure, each companions are embarking on this undertaking with their very own elementary developments. We’re working along with Umicore on the event of recyclable cell/battery know-how that’s then adopted by a sustainable manufacturing course of. At a later stage, massive portions of fabric will, after all, be fed again into the loop for recycling. Earlier than this occurs, nonetheless, I foresee an extended section of main use in automobiles adopted by second-life use in stationary storage units.
How does this secondary use work precisely?
Juraschek: So far as the BMW Group is worried, using used batteries as stationary vitality storage units is a logical step in direction of holistic sustainability. The usage of stationary vitality storage units is about to realize enormously in significance with the continuing vitality revolution. At instances when surplus electrical energy is generated from renewable sources, it may be saved in these stationary units. And in periods of low electrical energy era, the storage system can then launch the gathered energy. We now have already efficiently applied this kind of energy grid stabilisation with used batteries from BMW i3 and MINI E prototypes as a part of joint improvement initiatives with companions reminiscent of Vattenfall, Bosch and NextEra. The vitality storage farm at BMW Group Plant Leipzig, which holds a complete of 700 BMW i3 batteries, is one instance of how worthwhile use might be manufactured from batteries on the finish of their service life in automobiles by giving them a second life as a part of a sustainable vitality mannequin. This demonstrates as soon as once more how the sustainability idea at BMW i extends far past the car.