BMW taps Great Wall Motor’s SVOLT Energy for EV battery order worth $13 billion

Following EV battery agreements with CATL and EVE Energy last fall, BMW shared it is adding SVOLT Energy to its rolodex. The battery developer is a spinoff of China’s Great Wall Motor and has reportedly been awarded a massive contract to supply EV builds in Europe worth up to $13 billion.

SVOLT Energy is a subsidiary of Great Wall Motor that describes itself as a “high-tech enterprise in the global EV battery industry.” It currently employs nearly 3,000 people worldwide, half of whom work in research and development, 1,200 personnel of which have been focused on cobalt-free battery technology alone.

Alongside investments totaling over RMB 500 million ($77.3 million) into research and development of cobalt-free batteries, SVOLT has been able to deliver a viable pack, declaring itself the first to bring such battery technology to series production.

SVOLT’s prowess appears to have caught the eye of BMW, who is working to electrify its entire lineup of vehicles around the globe with the help of some of the former’s competitors. In September of 2022, BMW announced EV battery partnerships with EVE Energy and CATL – the world’s leading battery manufacturer for six years running – and it’s not even close.

A recent report out of China states that SVOLT Energy is joining BMW’s electrification strategy and will begin supplying EV battery cells, beginning in 2027.

SVOLT’s cobalt-free battery pack / Credit: SVOLT Energy

Report: SVOLT to dedicate two EV battery lines to BMW

Today’s report comes out of 36kr in China, who says a source close to SVOLT revealed it signed a contract with BMW back in July to supply EV battery cells supply and a start of production will begin in late 2027.

As posted by CnEVPost, SVOLT is reportedly dedicating two cell production lines to BMW at its facilities, where it will build corresponding battery module and packs. The Chinese media outlet also reported that the new order is for nearly 90 GWh of battery capacity supplied to BMW in Europe, valued at up to RMB 96 billion (~$13 billion), citing several industry chain sources close to the matter.

Through its aforementioned orders with both CATL and EVE Energy, BMW has shared plans to begin delivering EVs powered by lithium-ion cylindrical cells beginning in 2025, well before SVOLT is reportedly supposed to begin its own EV battery production for the German automaker.

Neither SVOLT or BMW have confirmed this agreement yet, so its unclear what sort of battery chemistry the former intends to manufacturer for the latter, but the order makes sense given BMW’s desired battery capacity of 160 GWh its trying to adding this year, which may not be possible to obtain from CATL and EVE alone.