FRANKFURT -- BMW will invest 200 million euros ($237 million) over the next four years in a battery cell competence center in Munich, the automaker's home city.
"By producing battery-cell prototypes, we can analyze and fully understand the cell's value-creation processes. With this build-to-print expertise, we can enable potential suppliers to produce cells to our specifications," BMW board member Oliver Zipse said in a statement on Friday.
"The knowledge we gain is very important to us, regardless of whether we produce the battery cells ourselves, or not," Zipse said.
BMW CEO Harald Kruger said in September that the automaker will offer 25 electrified cars, including 12 full-electric models by 2025.
The company unveiled the i Vision Dynamics concept at Frankfurt auto show in September, previewing an upcoming third model for its i low-emissions subbrand that will be a rival to the Tesla Model 3.
BMW said it has already acquired a high level of evaluation competence through the development of the i3 battery-powered hatchback and i8 plug-in hybrid sports car.
It expects advances in battery technology to extend the driving range of pure EVs to up to 700 km (435 miles) and plug-in hybrids to 100km.
The company said it will concentrate expertise from various specialist departments and locations in the new center, which will open in early 2019.
Automotive News Europe contributed to this report