Clearly the German automaker has big plans.
BMW has some big plans, which involve introducing 12 electric models by 2025. Up until now, the i Division has only produced the i3 and i8, but an entry-level i1 is being considered as well as everything up to and including an i9 and iX9 SUV. BMW's next EV is expected to produce an impressive 443 horsepower and have a massive range of 435 miles. In order to gear up to build all of these new EV models, BMW has reportedly purchased nearly $5 billion worth of batteries from China's CATL.
According to a report by Reuters, BMW plans to source $4.7 billion worth of batteries from the Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) over the next few years. A long-term contract includes $1.5 billion worth of battery cells from a new CATL plant in Germany - the rest will come from China. Rumors indicate that Europe may lack the ability to produce its own batteries in large enough quantities. The BMW Group has already partnered with China's Great Wall to produce an EV for the Mini brand. BMW also invested in a portion of CATL's plant in Germany, but declined to say how big the investment was.
Raw materials for the batteries (such as cobalt) will be sourced by BMW, then given to CATL to use for the batteries. BMW is currently negotiating long-term contracts for the raw materials. This is the first step among many to help BMW reach its goal of 12 new EV models by 2025.