The BMW Group is speeding up the shift towards electromobility and strengthening its international network for production of electrified vehicles. Ever since the first fully-electric BMW, the BMW i3, went into standard production in 2013, the BMW Group has built up extensive technological expertise in the field of production. The company is using this advanced knowledge in production of fully and partially-electric cars at 13 manufacturing locations worldwide (as of March 2021). By the end of 2022, all German vehicle plants will be producing at least one fully-electric vehicle.
At these car plants, fully-electric vehicles come off the same production line as plug-in hybrids and vehicles with petrol and diesel engines. This enables us to respond flexibly to customer demand for different drive technologies.
E-DRIVE PRODUCTION AT BMW GROUP PLANTS.
To enable further expansion of electromobility, the BMW Group is adapting its production structures to growing demand for electrified vehicles. The company is also developing electric powertrain components, such as electric motors, battery modules and high-voltage batteries, itself and producing them at its plants. Growing demand will be met by increasing capacity at existing locations and expanding the production network.
The high-voltage batteries and battery components needed for all BMW and MINI electrified vehicles come from the company’s three battery factoriesinhouse productions in Dingolfing, Leipzig and Regensburg (Germany), Spartanburg (USA) and Shenyang (China). The BMW Group has also localised production of high-voltage batteries in Thailand, at its Rayong plant, where it is working with the Dräxlmaier Group. This network will be supplemented by production of battery components and high-voltage batteries at BMW Group Plants Regensburg and Leipzig from mid-2021. 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 refining 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.
The BMW Group will meet its ambitious goals for electromobility through higher production capacity for electric powertrain components.
BMW Group Competence Centre for E-Drive Production
BMW Group Plant Dingolfing has many years of expertise building components for electric vehicles. With the opening of the Competence Centre for E-Drive Production in July 2020, the BMW Group is once again expanding its e-mobility capabilities and setting new production standards for the transformation of the automotive industry. At its Dingolfing facility, the BMW Group will produce battery modules, high-voltage batteries and electric motors for battery-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. The new highly-integrated fifth-generation e-drive , which combines the electric motor, transmission and power electronics in a central housing., has been used in the BMW iX3 since 2020. Based on the design principle of a current-excited rotor, thefifth-generation e-drive does not require any materials classified as rare-earth metals.
Battery factory in the US
BMW Group Plant Spartanburg in the US state of South Carolina doubled its production capacity for high-voltage batteries in 2019. These will are be used in the BMW X5 xDrive45e and BMW X3 xDrive30e plug-in hybrid models, which are also built in Spartanburg. With these and other electrified models, the BMW Group will be able to strengthen its lead in registrations within its classic competitive environment.
BATTERY MODULES PRODUCED AT THE BMW GROUP’S PIONEER PLANT FOR ELECTROMOBILITY
Leipzig is the BMW Group’s pioneer plant for electromobility and has been building the BMW Group’s first fully-electric vehicle, the BMWi3, since 2013. Since May 2021, the production area previously reserved for the BMW i8 is used for manufacturing battery modules for the BMW Group’s fifth-generation electrified vehicles.
COMPONENTS FOR FIFTH-GENERATION HIGH-VOLTAGE BATTERIES
The site's expertise and experience in producing electrified vehicles is now also used in production of battery components and has been coating battery cells since April 2021. The coating increases mechanical robustness and thermal conductivity, thereby improving insulation and cooling of the even more powerful fifth-generation battery cells. In addition to the Regensburg plant. battery cells are painted at the Dingolfing plant and the BMW Brilliance Automotive Plant Powertrain in Shenyang, China.
High-voltage batteries will also be produced in Regensburg from 2022.
Years of experience producing electric motors
BMW Group Plant Landshut has produced the electric motor for the BMW Group’s first fully-electric vehicle, the BMW i3, since 2013. It also began producing the electric motor for the MINI Cooper SE in 2019. Its light metal foundry produces the housing for the highly integrated fifth-generation e-drive out of up to 50% recycled aluminium as well.
BMW Brilliance Automotive plant in Shenyang
Two battery centres at the site already
The BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA) joint venture opened another battery centre in China at its Tiexi location in 2020. This will produce batteries for the fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology in the fully-electric BMW iX3, as well as the associated battery modules. The new battery centre complements the so-called "High-voltage Battery Centre” factory, which opened in 2017.
Battery production in Thailand
High-voltage batteries for plug-in hybrids from BMW Group Plant Rayong
Production of high-voltage batteries and battery modules got underway in mid-2019 at a new production facility near BMW Group Plant Rayong in Thailand. The BMW Group is working with the Dräxlmaier Group to manufacture high-voltage batteries. While its partner set up and is responsible for production, the BMW Group provides the corresponding know-how and training for employees.
BATTERY CELL COMPETENCE CENTRE.
The BMW Group continues to expand its leading position in e-mobility and has pooled its wealth of experience and comprehensive knowledge in the field of battery cells at a special competence centre. The aim is to understand all aspects of battery cell technology and the associated production processes.
The competence centre covers the entire battery cell technology value chain – from research and development to battery cell composition and design, all the way to large-scale manufacturability. It is important to think about recycling and transparent, sustainable cell development from the very beginning. Whether the company will produce cells itself on a large scale at a later date will depend on how the supplier market develops.
The Battery Cell Competence Centre put us in a unique position: Based on current BMW i3 technology, we will be able to double the energy density of our battery cells by 2030 and double range for our customers.
Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, at the opening of the Battery Cell Competence Centre 2019
SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION USING WIND AND HYDROELECTRIC POWER.
The BMW Group already sources only green power for its manufacturing locations worldwide and, for production of its new electric BMW iX and BMW i4 models at the Dingolfing and Munich plants, relies on regionally-sourced green electricity from hydroelectric power. Through direct supply contracts with regional providers, the BMW Group is once again significantly improving the environmental quality of the green power used in production. In addition to signing more of these electric power contracts, the percentage of electricity generated at BMW Group locations from renewable or carbon-neutral sources will also be increased. Four wind turbines at the Leipzig site have generated all the electrical energy needed to produce the BMW i3 since 2013. At Plant San Luis Potosí in Mexico, large-scale solar power installations provide a percentage of the electricity needed for production.
The BMW Group has also reached a contractual agreement with its battery cell suppliers that they will only use green power to produce battery cells for its fifth-generation e-drive. This fifth-generation e-drive has been on the roads since 2020 in the BMW iX3 and will be rolled out in more products, like the BMW iX and BMW i4, in 2021.
The BMW Group has also signed a long-term battery cell supply contract with Swedish company Northvolt. The battery cells will be produced at the gigafactory currently under construction in Skellefteå in northern Sweden from 2024. The energy needed to produce the battery cells will be obtained exclusively from wind and hydroelectric power generated locally.