BMW is investing £175 million in next-generation battery technology that it claims will give its electric cars a range in excess of 430 miles.
The German car manufacturer says its fifth-generation electric vehicle technology is already in development, and will be fitted to its cars from 2021.
It added that the move will also increase the electric-only range of its plug-in hybrid models to about 60 miles.
Oliver Zipse, member of the BMW board, said that the company’s researchers will build prototypes that can be analysed in-house. It can then give that information to potential suppliers or build the batteries itself.
Fellow board member Klaus Fröhlich said: “We will be concentrating all our in-house expertise along the battery-cell value chain at our new high-tech competence centre.
“International experts working in the new development labs and facilities will conduct important research to refine cell chemistry and cell design.
“We will focus on further improvements in battery performance, lifespan, safety, charging and also costs. We will set the benchmark for the industry.”
BMW says that its new technology combines the electric motor, transmission and power electronics components into one unit, which takes up less space than the three separate units that were used before.
The components are scalable, meaning the size can easily be increased for larger vehicles to offer more range and performance, as well as reducing weight and cost.