When announcing the new batteries that will be integrated into the future 3 Series, BMW quickly addressed the issue of autonomy. For the German manufacturer, aiming for a range of 1,000 km is useless. It’s the same vision as Elon Musk, and we explain why it’s a good thing.
At the beginning of 2022, Elon Musk shocked many observers when he said that an electric car with a range of 1,000 km was useless. The German manufacturer BMW is following suit, just days after announcing the future platform for the 100% electric BMW 3 Series with a range of up to 800 km.
Indeed, as reported by the British media Coachaccording to Thomas Albrecht, a BMW engineer, “the new 6th generation batteries will allow us to add 30% more range compared to the current 5th generation, but we will not go beyond 1,000 km, even if we can. We don’t think such high battery life is necessary“.
Fast charging, more important than autonomy?
And the man is not wrong. Indeed, even if a great autonomy is necessary to make long journeys, it is above all the mesh of the fast charging network that must be developed, in parallel with the charging speed. The Kia EV6 proves it well. With a theoretical range of “only” 528 km, it is faster – on certain routes – than the Mercedes-Benz EQS with its combined WLTP range of 725 km. In question, the charging speed, which goes from 31 minutes on the Mercedes to 18 minutes on the Kia to go from 10 to 80%.
This statement is less true on the highway, where the consumption of certain cars soars, just like the Kia EV6. And as proven by YouTuber Bjørn Nyland’s various 1,000 km highway tests, the theoretical autonomy is less important than the actual consumption on the highway and the fast charging power. In this little game, the Chinese manufacturer Nio wins first place hands down thanks to its battery replacement stations which allow you to leave with a full battery in five minutes.
5 to 10 minutes to recharge its battery
The future of the electric car will therefore not necessarily involve batteries with ever greater autonomy. But above all by faster and faster recharging speeds, and contained consumption on the highway. This is what the Chinese manufacturers intend to do in particular by integrating next year the famous battery with a range of 800 km and which can be recharged from 10 to 80% in just 10 minutes. Provided you have a sufficiently powerful charging station available, which is not yet the case in Europe.
In the years to come, the Chinese giant CATL is planning batteries that can be recharged in just five minutes. This technology will make it possible to offer smaller, less expensive, but also less heavy batteries, making it possible to lower the vehicle’s consumption. Because for Elon Musk, it is useless to carry a gigantic battery of which we would only use a tiny part of its capacity on a daily basis. And he’s right.
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