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October 6, 2022

BMW eDrive Batteries Are Designed For Safety, Sustainability, And Serviceability

BMW is taking a different approach when it comes to being a premium automotive brand. Instead of ostentatious opulence, they see environmental responsibility and sustainability as a cornerstone of luxury.

As such, BMW has committed to cut the emissions by 40 percent across the entire vehicle lifecycle from the supply chain to production to usage. The biggest drop—80 percent—may be at the production phase, but the second biggest cut—50 percent—is found in the actual use of the vehicle. With that, the automaker sees electrification as a key part of their strategy to cut greenhouse gases. Enter the BMW i brand.

The ”i” in BMW i happens to stand for “innovation,” and it’s one backed up by their fifth-generation eDrive propulsion system.

Found in the likes of the BMW iX, i4, and upcoming iX3, it’s unique in that it’s proprietary to the BMW brand. Instead of outsourcing the research and development of its power source to others, the automaker understands that it’s fundamental in delivering their motto, “Sheer Driving Pleasure.”

The eDrive system has four components—a highly-integrated electric drivetrain, a combined charging unit, a high-voltage battery, and adaptive recuperation.

The drivetrain itself is special in that it houses the motor, transmission, and associated electronics all in one compact housing. In addition, it doesn’t use rare earth metals in its construction; rather, it uses an electrically excited synchronous motor. This offers silent operation as well as a balance of high peak power and stable torque even at high rpms (up to 17,000 rpms).

Meanwhile, the high-voltage battery pack is modular in design. Depending on the exact requirements of the vehicle, it can be stacked side by side and even on top of each other. And while the module size varies per vehicle, each one has its own pre-installed cooling systems and connectors.

The battery itself does come with an 8-year warranty, but this installation technique has one big advantage. It allows BMW, down to the dealer level, to swap or replace individual modules in case of a fault, instead of having to replace the entire battery! Swapping of battery modules only requires the minimal dismantling of the cooling system.

The AC coolant also happens to cool the battery. Its gaseous coolant provides direct cooling of the cells. This approach ensures highly efficient temperature control, since the heat transfer from the evaporation process is direct and therefore much more efficient than if an additional medium were used. This allows a particularly compact cooling system to be used. At the same time, there is no risk of liquid being released in the event of a collision.

BMW has already restructured its supply chains and will source cobalt and lithium for battery cells directly. This ensures full transparency over where these two important battery raw materials come from. Supply contracts also guarantee supply security up to 2025 and beyond. Going forward, cobalt will be sourced directly from mines in Australia and Morocco, while the lithium will come from Australia and other countries. By 2030, the automaker will target the use of 90 percent recycled nickel, cobalt, and aluminum.


  1. But why is it that BMW doesn't encourage owners to pop up the hood?

    1. Serviceability they say... Some models doesn't even have an oil dipstick.

    2. Yeah...because the oil level / condition is indicated in the infotainment system now.

    3. If you meant their EVs, because you don't want to be dealing with a high-voltage electric battery, right? Serviceability in this case has to do with the battery modules easily replaceable. In other brands, the entire battery pack has to be replaced when there's a defective module.

    4. Fox news: EV's car batteries are exploding after floods by hurricane ian.

    5. I see... BMW BEV's are also very high tech. I believe they don't want users to ruin what's inside the hood. But it's still a privilege to be able to open the hood even if it's a BEV.

    6. You can check this photo:

      from our story:

      It's basically a blank piece in there. The battery is located under the floor, so there's no way to access that without proper tools.

  2. WARNING: Kuchi 888 is really a die-hard Chinese Car Fanatic and avid Toyota Basher, if you want to comment here on Carguide, just ignore him.


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