Jaguar Land Rover and BMW have announced that they will be working together to develop next-generation electric drive units for EVs. The automakers say the move will enable both companies to save development cost and time, with benefits coming from shared research and production planning as well as economies of scale as a result of joint procurement across the supply chain.

A joint team from both companies will be based in Munich to carry out development work on the new electric drivetrains, tailored to the specific characteristics required for each manufacturer’s respective range of products. The drive units will then be manufactured by each partner in their own production facilities.

The development will centre around progressing the fifth-gen (or Gen 5) of BMW’s eDrive tech, which will make its debut in the iX3. The new family of powertrains can be fitted to front- and rear-wheel drive platforms, and is capable of all drive forms.

The batteries utilised for the Gen 5 systems are scalable, modular and more powerful, and will be able to provide an all-electric range of up to 700 km on an EV and up to 100 km on a plug-in hybrid. In the case of the iX3, it should mirror that seen in the Concept iX3 from last year – the SAV has a claimed range of more than 400 km (WLTP cycle) and features a 70 kWh battery that supports fast charging of up to 150 kW, allowing it to be charged in just 30 minutes from specific DC charging stations.

The Gen 5 system, which integrates the electric motor, transmission and power electronics in one housing, will provide the basis from which subsequent evolutions developed together with Jaguar Land Rover will be based.

“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,” said BMW’s development chief Klaus Fröhlich.

According to JLR engineering director Nick Rogers, “it was clear from discussions with BMW Group that both companies’ requirements for next-generation EDUs to support this transition have significant overlap, making for a mutually beneficial collaboration.”

The British automaker – which didn’t have a good 2018 – will build the next-gen electric drive units at its Wolverhampton-based Engine Manufacturing Centre (EMC). The facility, which was confirmed as the base for the company’s global EDU production in January, will be complemented by a new Battery Assembly Centre at Hams Hall, near Birmingham.