BMW AG has boosted orders for battery cells to keep pace with accelerating demand for electric cars that made up more than 11% of deliveries during the half of the year.
The German carmaker now has contracts for more than 20 billion euros ($23.8 billion) of batteries, up from 12 billion euros previously, Chief Executive Officer Oliver Zipse said in an interview. The cells are destined for i4 sedans, iX sport utility vehicles and other models BMW is producing through 2024. The company plans to start switching to a new generation of batteries the following year.
“We’re following the market,” Zipse said. “The first half has shown that we’re growing and gaining market share. We’re right in the middle of electrification.”
Carmakers are reeling from a crippling shortage of semiconductors that’s put the industry on high alert to identify other vulnerabilities in their supply chains. Access to enough battery cells and raw materials like cobalt and nickel will be critical to established carmakers’ electric transformations. EV leader Tesla Inc. has gone so far as to clinch metal-supply deals with miners.