BMW & Jaguar Land Rover to Work together on Next-Gen Electric Vehicle Technology

BMW & Jaguar Land Rover to Work together on Next-Gen Electric Vehicle Technology

Author: Eric Walz   

Over the past several years, global automakers have formed new partnerships with tech companies and others outside of the automotive industry to jumpstart the development of autonomous driving technology, electrified powertrains, EV batteries and high-definition mapping tech for self-driving vehicles.

The latest partnership in the automotive industry comes from BMW and Jaguar Land Rover. The two global automakers announced they will work together to develop electric vehicle drive units to support the advancement of technologies necessary for autonomous driving, connectivity, electrification and services (ACES).

"The automotive industry is undergoing a steep transformation. We see collaboration as a key for success, also in the field of electrification. With Jaguar Land Rover, we found a partner whose requirements for the future generation of electric drive units significantly match ours. Together, we have the opportunity to cater more effectively for customer needs by shortening development time and bringing vehicles and state-of-the-art technologies more rapidly to market," said Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development.

BMW's partnership with Jaguar will focus on the further development of the Gen 5 electric drive unit.

The Gen-5 drive unit combines an electric motor, transmission and power electronics into a single housing. In addition, the new electric powertrain being developed does not require rare earths, enabling the BMW Group to reduce its dependence on cobalt.

Beginning in 2020, the BMW Group plans to debut this new type of electric drive unit in the fifth generation ("Gen 5") of its eDrive technology, starting with the BMW iX3 Sports Activity Vehicle.

BMW has produced several generations of electric drive units in-house since it launched the i3 in 2013. Jaguar Land Rover has demonstrated its capability with this technology through the launch of the award-winning electric Jaguar I-Pace.

The cooperation allows the BMW Group and Jaguar Land Rover to take advantage of cost efficiencies arising from shared development of future evolutions and production planning costs as well as economies of scale from joint purchasing.

A joint team of BMW Group and Jaguar Land Rover experts located in Munich will further develop the Gen 5 power units. Production of the electric drivetrains will be undertaken by BMW and Jaguar in their own manufacturing facilities.

The development of multiple new, zero-emission technologies is required for the automakers to meet customer and regulatory requirements around the world, especially in the EU, where many cities are working to ban internal combustion engine vehicles entirely from city streets by 2040 or earlier.

BMW said it will continue to improve its internal combustion engines alongside its e-mobility strategy with fully-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. The automaker will also continue to invest in new technologies, such as zero-emission fuel–cell powertrains powered by hydrogen.

Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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