BMW and Rimac Technology partner on future high-voltage battery tech

As with all trends, different manufacturers are experiencing different fortunes during the current EV vicissitudes. After an expensive learning and adaptation stage with the first i3, BMW finds itself on the high side currently, deliveries of the i4, iX1, and i7 up 41% in the first quarter of the year and the Munich automaker projecting 20% of its global deliveries in 2024 will be battery-electric. Hitting the 20% target would be a 5% gain over 2023. Continuing to look to the future, BMW announced it has signed a long-term partnership with Rimac Technology to “co-develop and co-produce innovative solutions in field of high-voltage battery technology for selected battery-electric vehicles.” This means high-voltage (800 volts or more) packs and architectures for future BMW products, neither automaker hinting at what those products might be.  

And to clarify the connection, Rimac Technology is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Rimac Group. The tech division, more than ten years old, has become an EV engineering supplier for various automakers; it helped with the hybrid battery system in the Aston Martin Valkyrie, produced the pack in the Koenigsegg Regera and the powertrain in the Pininfarina Battista, and worked with Jaguar Classic Works on the E-Type Zero.

The BMW move signals a shift into mainstream development, compelling changes to the Rimac Campus headquarters in Croatia (pictured above). CEO Mate Rimac said the partnership “marks a significant milestone for Rimac Technology, as it represents the largest and most ambitious project the company has undertaken to-date.” Fulfilling the terms means adding “sophisticated automated production lines for batteries” at the campus, a “significant portion” of the site dedicated to the project. The company reportedly wants to supply at least 100,000 batteries to OEMs annually by 2026.

It appears the BMW news dovetails off ventures finalized late last year. Rimac began work on an EV platform called 46XX as least two years ago that would utilize 46-millimeter cells, the company’s head of research and advanced engineering telling Automotive News Europe “The new module platform forms the basis of most of our future programs.” Last August, BMW signed a multi-billion-euro deal with Chinese battery cell supplier Eve Energy to provide 46-mm batteries for BMW’s European EVs due on the market next year. This extended the already existing deal that sees Eve supply units for BMW’s China-market products. One month after the European BMW-Eve deal, Rimac and Eve partnered for Rimac’s 46XX platform, Eve providing the cells, Rimac integrating them into European production of its 46XX architecture.   

BMW made it clear that the Neue Klasse vehicles are not part of the Rimac partnership — at least, not at launch next year. It sounds like BMW and Rimac will be working on EV components further down the chain, in the line of packs and platforms that could become part of BMW’s sixth-generation EV drivetrains and technologies.  

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