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BMW has invested R&D efforts towards developing new tech that will increase battery capacity by 15-20 per cent by replacing liquid electrolytes with solid ones. BMW says that solid electrolytes are more stable and hence safer and would require reduction in battery safety protection due to a reduced fire risk. This would correspondingly result in reduced battery weight due to reduction in safety protection against a fire risk.
BMW says that its cars will be available with these solid-state batteries by 2026 and also cites long-term durability testing cited as a key reason for this long period.
But the next development in the refinement of the company’s existing battery technology will arrive in 2018, in time for the international launch of the Mini Cooper E and the all-electric version of the next-generation BMW X3.
BMW is still betting on internal combustion engine technology, which is predicted to remain the most popular power source for its models, until at least the end of the next decade.
But the firm wants to improve the efficiency of its engines to 33 percent, compared with the 90 percent efficiency of its electric drivetrains.