BMW is one step closer to getting its upcoming Megacity electric vehicle on the road. According to the German automaker, SB LiMotive, a 50:50 joint venture of Bosch and Samsung SDI, has been officially selected as the battery supplier for the Megacity project. Samsung, which is already a market leader in batteries for personal electronics applications, will reportedly deliver the individual lithium ion battery cells while Bosch will handle the job of assembling these cells into large-scale packs suitable for automotive use.

Interestingly, there are reportedly plans in place to recycle these batteries once they've outlived their usefulness in the Megacity electric car. Says Soon Taek Kim, CEO of Samsung SDI:
Our foremost objective is to supply BMW with the best battery technology available in terms of performance, range, and safety. At the same time, we want to establish SB LiMotive lithium-ion battery cells as a sustainable product which, after being used in the car, can be reused in other areas or recycled.
While there's still no firm date on the release of the Megacity, BMW expects its electric car "will go into serial production sometime in the first half of the next decade." Since we still have no idea what the Megacity may look like, take a gander at the old BMW Isetta above and think about the possibilities. Click past the break for the official press release.

[Source: BMW | Photo: SnaPsi Сталкер]


PRESS RELEASE:

Milestone for future electric vehicle


Munich. The BMW Group has opted for SB LiMotive as the supplier of battery cells for the future project Megacity Vehicle. This gives the company access to state-of-the-art lithium-ion storage technology. "The decision is a major milestone along the way to serial production of the Megacity Vehicle. The battery is a key component in any electric vehicle - it determines the range and performance of the car. With SB LiMotive we have selected a supplier who offers the best available technology, combining leading German automotive expertise with future-oriented Korean battery know-how," explains Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.

SB LiMotive is a 50:50 joint venture of Bosch and Samsung SDI. Here the two companies pool their expertise to develop and produce lithium-ion storage cells. Samsung SDI is a leader in the use of lithium-ion batteries in mobile phones and laptops. The technology has a proven track record in this area of application with millions of products to its name. However, integration in an automobile requires higher standards in terms of durability, operational stability and safety. Here, Bosch contributes its experience from a company history which goes back over 100 years.

"In this collaborative effort, three global technology leaders are coming together to shape the future of the electric vehicle. With our SB LiMotive joint venture as a supplier for the Megacity Vehicle's battery cells, we are sure that we can play a major role here," says Franz Fehrenbach, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH.

"Our foremost objective is to supply BMW with the best battery technology available in terms of performance, range, and safety. At the same time, we want to establish SB LiMotive lithium-ion battery cells as a sustainable product which, after being used in the car, can be reused in other areas or recycled," says Soon Taek Kim, CEO of Samsung SDI.

By opting for a battery supplier, the BMW Group underscores its commitment to electric mobility. The company concentrates its activities relating to electric motoring and urban mobility solutions in project i, an initiative which forms part of Strategy Number ONE. The first outcome of project i is the MINI E: this purely electrically powered vehicle is currently the focus of a large-scale field test involving some 600 vehicles in the US, Great Britain and Germany. Insights gained during this field test will be just as essential to the serial development of both the Megacity Vehicle as the battery technology. The zero-emissions vehicle will go into serial production in the first half of the next decade
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