Event date: 11 May 2021
As a new member of BMWDCM I was looking forward to attending my first event which just happened to be the monthly meeting to be held at Creative Custom Cars in Dromana. Arriving just in time for the start of the evening and making my way into the welcoming foyer at Creative Custom Cars, I had the chance to meet a couple of other members before Alan How the owner of Creative Custom Cars welcomed our club to his workshop.
As Alan began to give an overview of the business operations I quickly realised this was no average workshop, I could see into operating theatre from the foyer where there was many interesting cars.
It just so happened that on this evening there was 2 BMW's in his workshop undergoing complete nut and bolt no expense spared restorations one was a BMW M3 E30 and a 3.0 CSL which was the star of the show and had just been completed.
Alan explained when they carry out restorations that are to be returned to original specs if they don't have all the details supplied by the customer they then carry out extensive research to ensure originality. It was great to see the attention to detail on the cars amazing paint jobs and bodywork thanks to the in house fabrication and paint shop.
Creative Customs can also restore a part off your car when you not requiring a full restoration.
The photo of the 3.0CSL does not do it justice this car really looked amazing.
Thanks to Alan for having us at his workshop and hopefully we can visit it again in the future it really was a very interesting evening.
Andrew Cross | Member #694
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
Production of fifth-generation high-voltage batteries and battery modules for use in the BMW iX* and BMW i4 is now underway at the Competence Centre for E-Drive Production in Dingolfing. At the same time, the company is also increasing production capacity for its fifth-generation electric motor, which has been built in Dingolfing for the BMW iX3* since 2020 and will also power the BMW iX* and BMW i4. “We expect at least 50 percent of the vehicles we deliver to our customers worldwide to be electrified by 2030. To achieve this, we are relying on our extensive in-house drive train expertise: We are increasing capacity at existing drive train production locations – like here in Dingolfing – and developing capabilities at others – like recently in Regensburg and Leipzig,” explained Dr Michael Nikolaides, Senior Vice President, Production Engines and E-Drives, BMW Group.
The BMW Group is investing more than 500 million euros in expanding production capacity for e-drives at its Dingolfing location alone between 2020 and 2022. From 2022, it will produce e-drives for more than half a million electrified vehicles. The BMW Group will invest a total of around 790 million euros in expanding capacity for electric powertrain components at its Dingolfing, Leipzig, Regensburg and Steyr locations between 2020 and 2022.
Standard production of the BMW iX* will soon get underway at BMW Group Plant Dingolfing, followed by production of the BMW i4 at Plant Munich in the autumn. The highly integrated e-drives and high-voltage batteries for these vehicles will all be manufactured at the Competence Centre for E-Drive Production in Dingolfing. The BMW Group already began producing battery components at Plants Regensburg and Leipzig in April and May 2021. In line with growing demand for e-drives, BMW Group Plants Landshut and Steyr are also stepping up production of e-drive housings.
The output and energy content of drive units and high-voltage batteries with fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology can be flexibly scaled. This means they can be optimally adjusted to suit different model variants.
Each vehicle uses up to two highly integrated e-drives, which combine the electric motor, power electronics and transmission in a single housing. Based on the design principle of a current-excited rotor, the fifth-generation e-drive does not require any materials classified as rare-earth metals.
BMW eDrive technology also comprises a high-voltage battery with state-of-the-art battery cell technology. The BMW Group agreed with its suppliers that they will only use renewable green power for producing fifth-generation battery cells. The entire high-voltage battery boasts outstanding qualities in the areas of performance, charging and discharging characteristics, durability and safety. The technically standardised production process for battery modules has been further developed in such a way that different module variants can be produced on the same production line – in line with the growing range of electrified vehicle models and performance levels. The production systems are highly flexible and scalable. Battery modules are produced from supplied prismatic battery cells at the respective BMW Group production location. A modular system developed in-house allows model-specific high-voltage batteries to be manufactured from these modules in a flexible arrangement.
The company has outstanding expertise and experience, both in the field of battery cell technology and in production of model-specific high-voltage batteries. The BMW Group conducts basic research in the fields of cell chemistry and cell design at its own Battery Cell Competence Centre. The BMW Group also produces battery cell prototypes itself. These battery cell prototypes are used in tests to validate the development maturity of battery cells and to demonstrate the effectiveness of the production processes. In addition, the prototype production of the battery cells serves the identification of process potentials as well as the optimization of the production processes. In this way, the BMW Group gains a thorough understanding of the entire battery cell value chain and the decisive competitive advantages its chemical and technical properties offer. This enables battery cells to be manufactured to precise specifications that are geared towards each vehicle’s individual requirements.
Following extensive expansion, the Competence Centre for E-Drive Production now provides a usable area of 125,000 sq. m. This is where the company manufactures electric motors and the components needed for them, as well as high-voltage batteries and battery modules. A paint coating is also applied to the battery cells at this location. The coating increases mechanical robustness and thermal conductivity, thereby improving insulation and cooling of the even more powerful fifth-generation battery cells.
Plant Dingolfing has been manufacturing standard high-voltage batteries and battery modules since 2013, when the BMW Group's first all-electric vehicle, the BMW i3*, went into production. The first production lines for electric motors and high-voltage batteries for plug-in hybrids went on-stream there in 2014. The Competence Centre for E-Drive Production has been steadily growing ever since. The plant has also been producing high-voltage batteries for the fully electric MINI Cooper SE* since 2019 and, since 2020, also the highly integrated fifth-generation e-drive used for the first time in the BMW iX3*. Production of the even more powerful high-voltage batteries for the BMW iX* and BMW i4 is now getting underway. E-drives for future models can also be produced on the flexible production lines.
With the BMW Group systematically pursuing progress in electromobility, the demands on employees and their areas of responsibility are also constantly evolving. “We are growing our staff for e-drive production almost exclusively through personnel restructuring. We are actively shaping the transformation process and leveraging our employees’ skills so we can develop long-term sustainable jobs,” explains Nikolaides.
The Competence Centre for E-Drive Production in Dingolfing currently has almost 1,400 employees. By the end of 2021, around 1,900 employees are expected to work in e-drive production in Dingolfing.
Production employees receive further training at the in-house learning centre, which uses innovative vocational training and further education methods to provide employees with intensive preparation for their new tasks. Employees’ knowledge and skills are being expanded specifically to include new electromobility technologies, with a training concept that is constantly updated. The training sessions are held in the classroom, at practice workstations and directly on the production lines. Digital methods and augmented reality play a bigger role here than ever before. Thanks to these methods, the training courses were also able to continue safely during the coronavirus pandemic, in compliance with health and safety measures.
“The learning centre takes a holistic approach that supports employees throughout their professional development and further education, from their first day in production,” reports Dr Sven Jochmann, head of Production E-Drives Dingolfing, Landshut, Regensburg, Leipzig. “As well as trainers and managers, new colleagues are also supported by trained mentors who help them quickly find their way around their new working environment,” adds Jochmann.
The Dingolfing location is a prime example of the successful transformation of the BMW Group plants towards e-mobility and digitalisation. E-drive production, including electric motors and high-voltage batteries, is located in an existing, roughly 50-year-old building at the site, rather than using new space. The infrastructure was adapted to the new requirements and expanded accordingly. A modern staff restaurant seats 300 and there is also a new parking deck with space for 800 vehicles. The structural measures are rounded out by a 25,000 sq. m. logistics hall, new office spaces and social rooms close to the production area, as well as an additional plant gate in the south for improved logistics flows.
On the issue of sustainability, the BMW Group takes a holistic approach to reducing CO2 emissions and minimising resource consumption that covers the entire value chain, including in-house production, the supply chain and use phase. In Dingolfing, as at all BMW Group locations, production uses only green power. In addition, all BMW Group locations have been net carbon neutral since this year, through corresponding offsets and certificates. The company is also using many other levers: from building technology to energy-efficient installations to increased use of renewable energies. Electric trucks will be used for intra-company goods transport at the Competence Centre for E-Drive Production from the autumn.
The BMW Group continues its massive electromobility ramp-up: The company will offer five fully-electric models by the end of this year: the BMW i3*, the MINI Cooper SE* and the BMW iX3*, as well as the two main innovation flagships, the BMW iX* and BMW i4.
Between now and 2025, the BMW Group will increase its sales of fully-electric models by an average of well over 50 percent per year – more than ten times the number of units sold in 2020. Based on its current market forecast, the company also expects at least 50 percent of its global sales to come from fully-electric vehicles in 2030. In total, over the next ten years or so, the BMW Group will be releasing about ten million fully-electric vehicles onto the roads.
The high-voltage batteries and battery components needed for all BMW and MINI electrified vehicles come from the company’s own battery factories in Dingolfing, Leipzig and Regensburg in Germany, as well as from Spartanburg (USA) and Shenyang (China). The BMW Group has also localised production of high-voltage batteries in Thailand, at its Rayong plant, and is working with the Dräxlmaier Group for this. Munich is home to the e-drive pilot plant and the Battery Cell Competence Centre, where the BMW Group is conducting a full analysis of battery cell value creation processes and advancing technology for its production processes.
The company produces electric motors at the Competence Centre for E-Drive Production in Dingolfing and at BMW Group Plant Landshut. BMW Group Plant Steyr builds the housing for the highly integrated fifth-generation e-drive.
Event date: 23 May 2021
T ’was an early start on a crisp Autumn Sunday morning to head off to Round 5 of our Traction Tyres/Yokohama Drivers Championship at Rob Roy Hillclimb in Christmas Hills, to the North East of Melbourne. This event also forms Round two of the three round Motorsport Australia Interclub Challenge.
Rob Roy is a bit over an hour’s drive away from our place, add in a stop for fuel in the racecar on the way, so I left around 6 to be there at the 7.30am opening time. It was a lovely quiet drive up from the Peninsula into a beautiful sunrise, promising another perfect Melbourne Autumn day. Cold in the morning, but quickly warming up as the sun comes up, love this time of year. As I got closer to the track, winding through the hills and crossing the Yarra at Warburton the frost alert on our trusty tow car, Helga, went off and looking at the outside temp it was indeed a frosty 2 deg and dropping as I neared Rob Roy.
Once arrived, I found Phil and Blake already had their marquee up and were setting up camp for the day, with room for the rest of the club members to gather around too. There was quite a bit of frost on the ground still, but as the sun came up over the hills it quickly disappeared, and the sun gave us a beautiful day out to enjoy.
Blake hadn’t been to Rob Roy before, so he went off to do a sighting lap after drivers briefing. Then we went through in class order for each of our timed runs. There was a bit of a hold up during the morning, as one of the MG’s dropped coolant all the way up the hill and the officials had to clean it up and make it safe again. We each lowered our times during the day, with Blake and I ending up second and third in the 2-3 litre class in our E30’s. I also received a trophy from the last round here, as I won the class on that day. This time though it was about making sure the car was running ok again, after racing last weekend at Phillip Island and having to pull our after breaking a rocker in race 2. Apart from an electrical issue with the start switch that will need attention, my E30 ran as well as it always has, so she is ready for the next track day with the club at Sandown for the Come and Try/Driver Training Day on 19 June.
It was fantastic to see quite a few club members dropping in to see us during the day and watching some of our runs, enjoying a coffee and a chat in the sunshine with us. Thanks to Phil for setting up his kitchen to keep us in coffee, egg and bacon rolls and toasted sandwiches for lunch, it is a great atmosphere at our events, when we all congregate together as a group, just love it.
Look forward to seeing you at the next event.
Graeme Bell | Member #1
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
Event date: 16 May 2021
It was a great day out for the National Motoring Heritage Day/E30 Racing drive to Phillip Island. Despite the weather, we had a good turnout and an awesome variety of new and Classic cars on display.
Getting up close to all the race cars and talking to the E30 Racing crew was certainly a highlight not only for me but for my seven year old son Mackai as well. To say he was in he’s element is an understatement. He especially enjoyed sitting in the cars and watching the teams prepare for battle on the track.
I certainly enjoyed watching the battle play out. In the wet and in the dry, with the E30 Racing being especially intriguing as I happen to own one myself. It was great to see Jess back on the track and doing really well.
It was a massive effort by all involved and a spectacular day of racing. We certainly enjoyed our day out and had a lot to talk about on the drive home as Mackai had hundreds of questions to ask in absolute excitement.
Fantastic day all round.
Marlin King | Member #521
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
Event date: 15-16 May 2021
Why not start something new and why not start car racing in your forties…
My journey so far entering the world of motorsport and getting me to this point has been challenging but that’s another article.
So Phillip Island and round 3 of the E30 racing calendar on 15 & 16 May 2021 was up and coming. With a car not that too far away from being ready, the itch to get out there was growing, after all its Phillip Island a circuit regarded as one of the best in the world.
With only a few items left to bring the car up to the category specifications, I booked the car into Bell Motorsport. On the Thursday the car was ready, the anticipation growing however the car trailer (ordered months and months prior) was still not ready for collection. A back up trailer was organised and used in the end (I’m still waiting for the trailer) to get me to the track. A big thank you to Anton Bergman for the use of his trailer.
The forecast for Phillip Island was less than ideal and when I jumped in the car to go to the track at 5:30am it was already raining. I arrived got through the Covid-19 requirements and unloaded the car, at this stage it had stopped raining, a good sign I wondered. As soon as that thought entered my head it started to hail and the wind was freezing.
“Go racing at Phillip Island” they said, “You’ll have a ball” they said, really…
Anyway time for the morning briefing and off we all went. On my walk back our DSO (driving standards advisor so I learnt later) was Dave Stillwell who took the time to explain all about the racing and what was required. A big thank you to Dave who guided and helped me the whole day.
Now what am I forgetting? Race preparation 101, so I went through the check list (the one I know which is probably far from everything) and went about getting ready.
Time to jump in the car for qualifying, a wet track, cold tyres and little experience I was second guessing my decision to go racing. Off we went, slowly bringing the tyres up to temperature and getting a feel for the slippery track. On about the third lap the car felt good and the speed increased. I went across the start finish line and looked for turn one watching the cars in front of me and when they were braking. I turned into turn one going close to the inside curb on the right when it all went pair shaped, the rear end got away from me and I headed toward the grass. After a bit of sliding and a spin the car stopped, I was facing forward and looked for a gear. I saw the car behind me go past and that’s when I heard that noise… the sound of locked tyres screeching toward me and then bang.
Well that’s not ideal, I thought. I again looked forward, checked around me and attempted to drive off. Was the car ok? Would I be able to continue to drive? I drove off carefully and got another feel for the car. It appeared that it was running ok and I couldn’t feel any major handing issues so I kept going.
The session finished and I headed into the pits. Would I even make my first race or was I destined to remain the 40 year old virgin? Graeme and Chris from Bell Motorsport came over to inspect the damage and away to work they went. Thanks so much Graeme (who was also racing) and Chris who went to work on the car to get me back on the track. I also need to thank the Richards family (Steve Richards) who provided some race tape which was required. As I stared at the car I got a tap on the shoulder and asked to report to the medical staff.
Jo Mawson was kind enough to accompany me to the doctors (I had no idea where to go) and I was greeted by the medics. They checked me over, asked some questions, gave me some pain relief and thankfully cleared me to continue with the day.
Upon my return (it did take some time) I was very surprised with Bell Motorsport’s hard work and return to see a patched car ready to go.
I was medically cleared and the car ready to go racing! A little rattled but eager to go, I jumped back into the car for race one. Where to now? Dave (DSO) stuck his head in my window and explained where to go and that a Marshall would direct us to a mini grid where we would wait to go out. I took my place in the mini grid and was just looking around (probably like a lost sheep) thinking about how to best get off the line when Chris Bell came over and took the time to put my mind at ease and run me though what to expect and what to do when racing.
So out we went for the warm up lap and to the grid we headed where I took up my position as guided by our DSO. I looked in my revision mirror and saw the Marshall waiving the green flag, now the adrenaline was really pumping. I looked up at the lights eagerly waiting for the lights to go out and they did, I got a surprisingly good quick clean take off and away racing we were!
My first race was really something else, awesome and with no expectations on my behalf as I was just happy to be finally on the track doing something for me and something I love. Before I knew it I saw the black and white flag and my first race was over.
As you leave the track you are directed to the weigh station where every car is weighed to ensure it meets the minimum weight requirement to enter the race. Anyway my turn and I was told that I was 20kg underweight… what the, what do I do now? Well time to stop my gym work and start eating take way food I thought. But seriously how do I add weight to the car at this stage and at the track? Without the additional weight I would not be able to enter race 2.
Instead of the casual time in-between races, perhaps even watching the other cars, I was again (first time with the medics) now busy trying to add weight. Well fuel was suggested so I put 20 litres of fuel in the car and back to the weigh station I went. ‘No keep trying’ I was told, so back to the park bay. What next, I took the jerry can to the fuelling station and refilled the 20 litre container. Would I even be able to fit another 20 litres in? How much did I need to put in to bring me up to weight? I filled the tank until it was absolutely full and back to the weigh station I went.
I got the thumbs up but was told that although it was fine now, how much fuel would I burn during the race? and if I used too much I maybe underweight at the end of the race and therefore disqualified. Never a dull moment. Determined not to let it distract me from the experience I stopped, looked around, took it all in and grabbed a coffee. After getting the coffee I noticed that there were no cars racing as the track was being repaired following a significant accident. This meant that our race 2 would have to be rescheduled to Sunday.
Day two, as we missed our race the day prior and with a full line up for the day, the E30’s were put with the Saloon Cars category. How does that even work I thought? Our DSO went to work arranging and then briefing us on the procedure. It ended up that the Saloon Cars would line up ahead of us on the grid, the lights would go through the sequence, they would leave and thirty seconds later it would start again for us.
The track was dry and the sun even came out, I was feeling excited. We again lined up in our dummy grid and again Chris Bell came over and talked me though it again putting my mind at ease and importantly really helping me to enjoy the experience.
Now this was cool looking down the straight seeing all the E30’s lined up and the full grid of Saloon Cars. The first set of lights went out and the Saloon Cars were off. The lights then went on and off and again we were off. There must have been a bit of rubbing with the Saloon Cars as there were a few spots where debris was on the track. I tried to be quicker and brake later this time around and enjoyed the race. After the weigh in (I made the weight) I went into the parking area to be told that my Dorian (lap timer) wasn’t working. Not to worry a trip to the timer people in the tower, grabbing a replacement and I was back in business.
This time I was then able to enjoy the time in between races and managed to watch some of the other racing. Time came around quickly and it was time for the final race, race 3. This was our longest race and with growing confidence I was looking forward to it. While in the dummy grid Chris Bell visited me again and we had our chat. Out we went and again I turned my mind to getting off the grid quickly and cleanly. Lights out and away we went a little eager this time, with the wheels spinning but nevertheless a good start. After the first lap and working into a groove the safety car came out and the field grouped while the track was cleaned. Well this was definitely a weekend with the lot and before I knew it the final race was over.
So that’s my experience of my first race meet. Under qualified, under prepared and over enthusiastic, what a thrill to be behind the wheel of a race car going flat out around Phillip Island.
Thank you to all at BMWDCM, Bell Motorsport and E30 Racing for all their support and all the little chats I was able to have with people giving me little pointers along the way in particular Alex Jory.
Adam Sleep | Member #421
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
Holidays in the region and journeys of discovery through the local countryside will continue to be high on the list of priorities for many people seeking relaxation in the summer of 2021. The desire to relax in nature also inspires a preference for camping. These holiday trends are beneficial for the eco-balance, especially when they are combined with sustainable mobility. MINI has two models with electrified drive and matching optional equipment on offer for all those who want to be both flexible and particularly efficient on the road: the MINI Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 (fuel consumption combined: 1.9 - 1.7 l/100 km according to WLTP, 2.1 - 1.9 l/100 km according to NEDC; electricity consumption combined: 15.5 - 14.8 kWh/100 km according to WLTP, 14.8 - 14.1 kWh/100 km according to NEDC; CO2 emissions combined: 44 - 39 g/km according to WLTP, 48 - 44 g/km according to NEDC) with plug-in hybrid system and the purely electrically driven MINI Cooper SE (power consumption combined: 17.6 - 15.2 kWh/100 km according to WLTP, 16.1 - 14.9 kWh/100 km according to NEDC) Equipped in each case with model-specific carrier systems from the MINI Original Accessories range and a roof tent, they form the greenest camper fleet in the world.
With its hybrid-specific all-wheel drive and a system output of 162 kW/220 hp, the MINI Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 is ideally equipped for excursions into the countryside. With the ALL4 Trim or Classic Plus Package, its equipment is supplemented by a roof rail, among other things. A roof tent can be easily mounted on the roof rails with the appropriate railing rack.
The MINI Cooper SE can be equipped with mobile night quarters in the same way. The purely electrically powered small car is the only model in its competitive field that can also be equipped with roof rails. The matching carrier system can be found in the MINI Original Accessories range. And you're ready to go. The MINI Cooper SE carries the roof tent swiftly across the country: thanks to the aerodynamically optimised profile of its body, the roof tent does not noticeably restrict the temperament of the 135 kW/184 hp MINI Cooper SE, which can sprint from standstill to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds. The MINI Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 is just as relaxed about the increase in power. As a robust all-rounder, it also masters its role as a touring vehicle with flying colours.
On a joint camping trip, the two electrified models reveal their qualities each in their own way. According to the WLTP test cycle, the MINI Cooper SE has a range of 203 to 234 kilometres. The electric range of the MINI Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 is up to 59 kilometres. However, it can use the intelligently controlled interaction of the combustion engine and electric motor to replenish the energy reserves of its high-voltage battery on the road.
On winding country roads, there is a lot of driving pleasure. The battery, which is located low to the ground in both models, also contributes to this, shifting the vehicle's centre of gravity downwards and thus ensuring even more agility. The MINI Cooper SE Countryman ALL4, together with the MINI Cooper SE, rolls onto the camping site so quietly that even the crackling of twigs under the tyres can be heard.
The cautious approach signals respect for nature. Those who not only hike or cycle there, but also spend the night afterwards, experience it even more intensively - and can enjoy the view of the landscape from their sleeping place in the roof tent. Discovering the world from above - that's even possible from the roof of a MINI.
The shelter can be erected at dizzy heights within a few seconds. After releasing the safety catches on the housing, the tent structure lifts up automatically with the help of gas springs. The eight rungs of the fold-out aluminium ladder can be climbed just as quickly. Inside, there are two comfortable sleeping berths. In summer heat, the windows can be rolled up, and thanks to the mosquito nets in front of them, no pests can get inside.
Sleeping bags, luggage and provisions for longer camping trips for two can be stored in the luggage compartment of the MINI Cooper SE, which can be expanded from 211 to 731 litres after folding down the rear seat backrest. This provides the same stowage volume as in the conventionally powered model variants of the MINI 3-door. The MINI Cooper SE Countryman ALL4, with its five doors, five fully-fledged seats and a luggage compartment volume of 405 to 1 275 litres, is a true all-rounder in the premium compact segment.
There is therefore also enough space for all kinds of holiday companions that add a touch of comfort to the simple life in the midst of nature. A glance at the digital cockpit display of the MINI Cooper SE and the MINI Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 reveals that there is no lack of energy. The charge level of the high-voltage batteries is still well within the green zone. If you have a cool box on board, you can enjoy a chilled drink. The audio system plays subtle music. There is also more than enough power to charge the smartphone. When a mobile espresso machine is added, the threshold from camping to glamping is finally crossed.
And if the energy reserves do run low, this is no problem either. Many campsites are now equipped with charging points. So nature lovers can enjoy the beauty of the landscape on a hiking tour without worrying, while their electrified MINI charges up fresh energy to complete the onward journey to the next campsite or the drive home in the most sustainable way possible.
Event date: 1 May 2021
Although our club continued its activity throughout 2020 via Zoom along with heavily guideline and restricted physical events, on the afternoon of 1 May 2021 with the full Victorian restrictions of COVID almost behind us, the expectation of a formal dinner with a large number of guests was a pleasant change from the last 12 months of the state government non-social activity contact policy and restrictions.
The opportunity to break away outside from the norm of wearing relaxed casual home apparel or work-based clothes, to transform with a combination of personal grooming and present in formal attire to bestow in our regal transcendence to socialise with fellow members was an impressive experience met with enthusiasm and fellowship.
The Park Hyatt entrance and stairs leading down to grand foyer added to the atmosphere of the night, being formally presented with the social activity prior to entering the Fairmont room made for a relaxing environment. Beer, wine and water were consumed with great conversation, catching up with members we hadn't seen for a while, as well introducing ourselves to members we haven’t met yet. Once in the room and we found our allocated seating, we introduced ourselves to our table partners.
Once settled, with the new club logo being animated and projected in the background, we were addressed with a welcome to the evening by the Vice President, Jo Mawson and President, Graeme Bell.
As the photographer for the night, although I moved around the room, my personal social activities were brief as I was attempting to capture the social atmosphere of the night, in turn, the images being placed on the BMWDCM Facebook page.
The grandness of the Park Hyatt lower foyer and Fairmont room giving a perfect backdrop to these images. Capturing these images truly focussed on the members and guest for the night, including 24 World Cup gold and 5 World Cup Titles, Australian freestyle skier and motivational speaker Jacqui Cooper (whom I sat next to at my table).
Being the photographer, I also captured the moment that members were presented the 2020 BMWDCM annual awards. This year’s awards were presented by Jo and Graeme in his formal Scottish heritage attire.
The recipient of the 2020 ‘President Award’ was Tim Oh. Although not a BMW owner, he has been seen at most Zoom meetings, he has physically attended motorsport events participating as an official to assist with the meetings, so they are operated in a professional manner. Tim also claimed the ‘Drive a BMW for a weekend’ prize as donated by Mornington BMW (mazda’s are ok too Tim).
Mel Sedmak, who was awarded the ‘2020 New Member’ award. Mel has been a great member, helping out as a volunteer official and then becoming a Motorsport Australia General Official. He also attended as many events, as he could both sprints and social, winning best funny Christmas outfit in 2019. One of the most memorable events for Mel was the Bathurst 12 hour just before COVID shut us all down.
Then actually to my surprise, I heard my name being called for the ‘2020 Member of the year’ award. In a slight bewilderment, I handed my camera to my partner (the other Jo) and walked out in front to receive my award and bottle of wine.
To receive this award as an active member of the BMWDCM, I enjoy all aspects of being in this club as I appreciate that I can contribute to the activities and life of the camaraderie of being a member. Although not having an automotive mechanical background, just a passion for cars, especially the BMW Marque, my other passion, photography, gives me an exciting opportunity to produce images of classic to modern automotive storytelling, that I feel contribute to members enjoy seeing their pride and joys being placed both on our Facebook page and in the quality annual ‘idrive’.
To attend the variety of events, from static displays, daily and weekend drives to motorsport events, introduces me to other members who I may not meet in other previous mentioned events, giving me the opportunity to learn more about my BMW passion, as well as the opportunity to photograph other cars and members I may not see in a single style event.
I also feel my videos and animated presentations contribute to the entertainment and essence of the BMW Drivers Club Melbourne presence.
The night continued to be a successful elegant night that included a ticket barrel and giveaways from proud sponsors of the club.
I would like to thank our committee members, Graeme, Jo, Secretary Lawrence Glynn and Treasurer Shaaron Glynn for the continual efforts throughout 2020 and early 2021 that proves even a world pandemic can’t prevent a great club from expanding and giving us all something to look forward to each month and throughout the past year.
Thank you to everyone.
Paul Holliday | Member #296
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
After an excellent start to the night out with some great company and conversation around our table, delicious dinner and inspirational life story from Jackie Cooper - five time olympian and champion, awards were being announced. Well, what a surprise I got hearing my name, 'Mel Sedmak', called out!
This club has been a big salve and social outlet for me after losing my wife to breast cancer three years ago. Thank you to the founding members, committee and all the members who are so welcoming (and helpful when the M3 strikes trouble - many thanks Lawrence).
In 2019 I immersed myself into all sorts of events, track days, drives around Vic and Great Ocean Road, Motorclassica, Maldon-Castlemaine train trip, Xmas in July, car shows, getting some experience as a cams official, watching and helping at the historic racing at Phillip Island and Sandown and the big one before COVID hit, The Bathurst 24hr GT race and four day stay! Incredible experiences with awesome people. Loved it and looking forward to doing more cool car stuff (whale watching in June) this year now we are free!
Mel Sedmak | Member #319
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
It was finally here - the BMWDCM third birthday and presentation night. I was looking forward to seeing everyone and eating some nice food.
We started the evening with pre-drinks in the foyer. On offer was champagne, red wine, white wine and beer, which was all complimentary.
Then it was like starting high school all over again with everyone checking the sheets of paper with the table seating arrangements on it. I was on table 6 with Andrew Bonaddio, Declan Woods - his partner Taylah and Tony and Alex from Mornington BMW along with their partners.
The welcome speeches by Graeme and Jo were very interesting, hearing about what BMWDCM has been up to and wow we've reached 584 members and that number is still growing!
Let the serving of food begin - mains was an alternate between roasted chicken breast with caramelised onion fondue and buttered carrots or angus beef together with mashed potato, red wine caramel mushrooms with tarragon mustard dressing. Followed by chocolate and almond tart with candied orange and vanilla cream. I had the roasted chicken, which was tender and succulent.
The business end of the night was next. I got a really nice surprise being awarded the President's Award. What a privilege this was been presented with the perpetual trophy and my own trophy to keep, in front of my fellow DCM members.
This was truly an amazing night, I had a great time. Receiving an award was something, but also winning a prize in the raffle- a drive of a BMW was an added bonus. Which I look forward to claiming! Thank You to Mornington BMW for donating this prize plus all the other generous prizes as well.
Tim Oh | Member #538
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
The BMW Drivers Club Melbourne held their Presentation gala dinner and 3rd birthday celebration on Saturday, 1 May at the gorgeous Park Hyatt hotel.
On arrival, guests were greeted by a sparkling new M3 and M5 positioned on display at the front of the hotel, provided by one of their valued partners Mornington BMW.
This certainly set the tone of what was sure of be an elegant affair!
As we made our way down to the event spaces, you certainly start to feel part of high society as you descend the grand staircase. We were welcomed by the smiling faces and warm welcomes of Graeme (President), Jo (Vice President) and the amazing bunch of people who are our fellow club members.
I knew I was in for a great night!
The bubbles flowed as we caught up with other members, who have now become firm friends within our Motorsport community.
I stopped to reflect on that, as it shows what a great club it is to be a member of. The exceptional culture that Jo and Graeme have created for their members is why their club has seen such huge growth in the last three years.
For me in particular I think of these people as my extended family and I am sure I am not alone in that feeling.
We moved inside for dinner and were treated to a delicious three course meal, again with much laughter and jovial conversations with the great group of people we were seated with.
The guest speaker for the evening was Jacqui Copper and what a treat that was!!!
I’ve seen many a “motivational” speaker over the years, but Jacqui’s was truly inspirational, so much so that I personally thanked Jacqui for sharing her story with us!
The presentation ceremony was such a special part of the evening, with so much pride and gratitude shown by award winners. Again it made me feel great pride at being a part of a club with such dedicated and engaged members.
As a relatively new member to the club, I am so glad we made the decision to join and I actively promote the club to anyone I speak to interested in Motorsport, BMW’s or just cars in general, and speak to my personal experiences with only glowing reviews!
Thank you Jo and Graeme for such a wonderful evening. It is a credit to you and I am already counting down the days to the next one!
Meg Boers | Member #556
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
### Start of joint Press Release from all partners involved ###
Louisville, Colorado, USA. Solid Power, an industry-leading producer of all solid-state batteries for electric vehicles, today announced a $130 million Series B investment round led by the BMW Group, Ford Motor Company and Volta Energy Technologies. Ford and the BMW Group have also expanded existing joint development agreements with Solid Power to secure all solid-state batteries for future electric vehicles.
The investment positions Solid Power to produce full-scale automotive batteries, increase associated material output and expand in-house production capabilities for future vehicle integration. The BMW Group and Ford aim to utilize Solid Power’s low-cost, high-energy all solid-state battery technology in forthcoming electric vehicles.
“BMW and Ford now share leading positions in the race for solid-state battery-powered electric vehicles,” said Doug Campbell, CEO and co-founder of Solid Power. “Solid Power now plans to begin producing automotive-scale batteries on the company’s pilot production line in early 2022 as a result of our partners’ continued commitment to Solid Power’s commercialization efforts.”
Solid Power has demonstrated its ability to produce and scale next-generation all solid-state batteries that are designed to power longer range, lower cost and safer electric vehicles using existing lithium-ion battery manufacturing infrastructure.
Solid Power’s leadership in all solid-state battery development and manufacturing has been confirmed with the delivery of hundreds of production line-produced battery cells that were validated by Ford and BMW Group late last year, formalizing Solid Power’s commercialization plans with its two long-standing automotive partners.
“Solid-state battery technology is important to the future of electric vehicles, and that’s why we’re investing directly,” said Ted Miller, Ford’s manager of Electrification Subsystems and Power Supply Research. “By simplifying the design of solid-state versus lithium-ion batteries, we’ll be able to increase vehicle range, improve interior space and cargo volume, deliver lower costs and better value for customers and more efficiently integrate this kind of solid-state battery cell technology into existing lithium-ion cell production processes.”
“Being a leader in advanced battery technology is of the utmost importance for the BMW Group. The development of all solid-state batteries is one of the most promising and important steps towards more efficient, sustainable, and safer electric vehicles. We now have taken our next step on this path with Solid Power,” said Frank Weber, Member of the Board of Management BMW AG, Development. “Together we have developed a 20 Ah all solid-state cell that is absolutely outstanding in this field. Over the past 10 years BMW has continuously increased the battery cell competence– important partners like Solid Power share our vision of a zero-emission mobility.”
Solid Power is currently producing 20 ampere hour (Ah) multi-layer all solid-state batteries on the company's continuous roll-to-roll production line, which exclusively utilizes industry standard lithium-ion production processes and equipment.
Both Ford and the BMW Group will receive full-scale 100 Ah cells for automotive qualification testing and vehicle integration beginning in 2022. Solid Power’s all solid-state platform technology allows for the production of unique cell designs expected to meet performance requirements for each automotive partner. Solid Power’s truly all-solid cell designs achieve higher energy densities, are safer and are expected to cost less than today’s best-performing lithium-ion battery cells.
“Volta invested early in Solid Power when our team of energy and commercialization experts found they had not only promising technology, but also a fundamental focus on manufacturability. After all, a breakthrough battery will not find a place in the market if it can't be produced at scale with acceptable costs,” said Dr. Jeff Chamberlain, CEO of Volta Energy Technologies, a venture capital firm spun out of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory focused on investing in breakthrough energy storage and battery innovations. “The fact that Solid Power is already producing multi-layer all solid-state batteries using industry-standard automated commercial manufacturing equipment is why Volta is excited to ramp up its earlier investment. The company's partnership with BMW and Ford will further accelerate the full commercialization of Solid Power’s batteries and position both car companies to be among the first to have EVs on the road powered by safer, affordable, high-energy solid-state batteries.”
### end of joint Press Release from all partners involved ###
For the BMW Group, it is clear that high-performance and sustainable energy storage systems are the key success factor for the individual mobility of the future. The development of highly innovative and sustainable battery cells is therefore one key element of the next phase of transformation of the BMW Group.
The BMW Group is accelerating its development for the battery technology of the future: This goal is also reflected in the Neue Klasse, which the BMW Group first presented at its annual conference in March. This new generation of vehicles, which will be launched by the middle of this decade, will be uncompromisingly electric, digital, circular – and clearly focused on all-electric drivetrains.
With the Neue Klasse, the BMW Group aims at the level of state-of-the-art internal combustion engines in terms of range and manufacturing costs. Therefore, electric mobility "engineered by BMW" is intended to appeal to and convince new groups of buyers worldwide. For this sixth generation of BMW e‑drive technology, featuring the next level of Lithium-Ion batteries, the company evaluates correspondingly different cell formats, cell chemistry and also cell modules in the current development phase. A key goal is to create truly green, low-carbon and recyclable batteries.
However, the BMW Group with its extensive in-house expertise in the complete value chain of electric drive for years, is already planning further into the future beyond this next generation:
By the end of the decade, the energy density of battery cells is expected to increase by at least a mid-double-digit percentage range – from an already high level today.
The battery cell of the future will be powerful, safe, cost-effective, and recyclable - from material selection to recyclability after the use in the vehicle. For the end of the decade the BMW Group has announced an automotive-compatible all solid-state battery for series production. A first demonstrator vehicle featuring this technology will be on the road well before 2025.
Thanks to intelligent vehicle architectures and a highly flexible production network, the BMW Group will have around a dozen all-electric models on the road as early as 2023.
In addition to the BMW i3*, MINI Cooper SE* and BMW iX3*, which are already on the market, two key innovation drivers, the BMW i4* and the BMW iX* will be put on the road this year– the BMW i4 even three months earlier than originally planned.
In the coming years, all-electric versions of the high-volume BMW 5 Series and the BMW X1 will follow. In addition, there will be an all-electric BMW 7 Series as well as the successor to the MINI Countryman and other models. As early as 2023, the BMW Group will have at least one all-electric model on the road in around 90 percent of its current market segments.
By 2025, the BMW Group will increase sales of all-electric models by an average of significantly more than 50 percent per year – more than ten times more than in 2020. In total, the company will have delivered around two million all-electric vehicles to customers by the end of 2025.
Based on current market expectations, the BMW Group is planning that by 2030 at least 50 percent of its global sales will consist of all-electric vehicles. In total, the company will bring about ten million all-electric vehicles onto the road over the approximately next ten years. This also means that the BMW Group is strategically on target of achieving the EU's ambitious CO2 reduction targets in 2025 and 2030.
The investment in Solid Power again demonstrates the BMW Group´s capability to identify the leading tech start-ups and to join forces on the way to achieve pathbreaking next generation technology. Various BMW Technology scouting offices around the world, outstanding startup accelerators, the BMW Startup Garage and BMW i Ventures, are always on the lookout for leading edge or disruptive tech in an increasingly competitive ecosystem.
As a result, BMW sets the standard for successful start-up collaboration, venture funding and corporate investment.
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