May 20, 2020

BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture to open high-voltage battery facility in China

Oliver Zipse
Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd
High Voltage batteries
2 min
BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture to open high-voltage battery facility in China

BMW has opened a new facility for high-voltage batteries in China.

The firm, along with its partner Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd, yesterday opened its new “High Voltage Battery Centre” in Shenyang.

The new facility will supply the nearby Dandong plant, which is already operated by the BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture.

The plant will produce the BMW H5 Series Plug-in Hybrid for the Chinese market, the largest car market in the world.

See also: 

How serious is China about renewable energy?

China's manufacturing indsutry grows at fastest pace in five years

Business Review Asia - October edition 

According to a press release from BMW, Oliver Zipse, BMW’s Board of Management member for production, has stated: “The innovative High-Voltage Battery Centre in Shenyang is an important premier automotive manufacturer in China and already the third in our production network, after Germany and the US… By 2025 we expect our electrified BMW and MINI models to account for 10-15% of global sales. This adds up to several hundred vehicles per year. It therefore makes sense for us to integrate electro-mobility into the existing production system.”

BMW hopes that in addition to producing the batteries for the H5 Series, opening the facility will result in more flexibility to manufacture an increasing number of hybrid and electric vehicles which it will need to do to stay afloat in China, which has announced it will end the sale of petrol and diesel cars in coming years.

China is currently attracting investment in electric vehicles with Tesla having opened a factory in Shanghai and companies including Daimler, Toyota, Volkswagen, Ford, Renault-Nissan and GM all having announced joint ventures to produce electric vehicles in China over the past year.

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Jul 18, 2021

Beyond Limits: Cognitive AI in APAC

3 min
Artificial intelligence startup Beyond Limits and global investment company Mitsui have partnered up to bring AI to the energy industry

Courtesy of current estimates, it looks like Asia-Pacific AI will be worth US$136bn by 2025. Its governments and corporations invest more money than the rest of the world in AI tech, the data of its citizens is considered fair game, and its pilots are small-scale and, as a result, ruthlessly effective. This is why, according to Jeff Olson, Cognizant’s Associate Vice President for Projects, AI and Analytics, Digital Business and Technology, the APAC region ‘is right on the edge of an AI explosion’. 


Now, startup Beyond Limits is pushing the boundaries of what AI can do, mirroring humans in its ability to find solutions with even limited information. As of this July, it’s partnered up with Mitsui, a global trading and investment company, to expand its impact in APAC. 

How Does Beyond Limits Work? 

Most AI companies claim that they can help businesses make better decisions. But many need astoundingly large stores of data to feed their information-hungry algorithms. Beyond Limits, in contrast, takes a different tack. Perfect data, after all, is largely a pipe dream kept alive by PhD students. In reality, systems must often make decisions from small, incomplete sets of intel. 


But Beyond Limits’ AI is no black box. ‘When little to no data is available, Beyond Limits symbolic technologies rely on deductive, inductive, and abductive reasoning capabilities’, explained Clare Walker, Industry Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. While making these leaps in logic, however, the system also keeps track, ensuring that humans can review the AI’s ‘thought process’. 

Why Partner With Mitsui? 

Beyond Limits is built for specific applications such as energy, utilities, and healthcare—but lacks the extensive industry network of Mitsui. Partnering allows Beyond Limits to access a portfolio of firms specialising in minerals and metals, energy, infrastructure, and chemicals. ‘We’ve been working on this deal for several years’, said Mitsui’s Deputy General Manager Hiroki Tanabe. ‘Mitsui’s global portfolio and Beyond Limits’ AI technology will...deliver impact’. 


In the first test of that dramatic statement, Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) will soon deploy Beyond Limits’ new system. If everything goes according to plan, LNG will optimise how it extracts and refines energy, making money for both itself and investors—including Mitsui. This, in fact, is Mitsui’s strategy: go digital and don’t look back. 


Why Does This Matter? 

Forty-five percent of Asia-Pacific companies surveyed in Cognizant’s thought leadership ebook consider themselves AI leaders. Positivity bias, that oh-so-common tendency of humans to position themselves as above average as compared to others, strikes again. (Most small companies fail to launch successful AI projects on their own.) And partly, this is because firms fail to integrate AI with industry expertise. 


 ‘A large part of the focus on talent for AI today has been getting the people who are strong in mathematics, AI, and technologies’, said Olson. ‘But where you make your money out of AI projects is when you apply them to your business’. In short: APAC nations looking for ways to bridge the gap might follow Beyond Limits and Mitsui’s playbook—coupling startup AI with a corporate network.


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