BMW Start Battery Component Production in Leipzig & Regensburg
The BMW Group is launching production of battery components at its plants in Leipzig and Regensburg and expanding its e-drive production
The BMW Group is launching production of battery components at its plants in Leipzig and Regensburg and expanding its e-drive production network. It has been less than a year since the decision was made to expand production capacity for e-drives in Germany. BMW Group Plant Leipzig will launch series production of battery modules on Monday, 3 May 2021, while BMW Group Plant Regensburg began coating battery cells for high-voltage batteries in April 2021. High-voltage batteries will also be produced in Regensburg from 2022. “We expect at least 50 percent of the vehicles we deliver to our customers worldwide to be fully electric by 2030,” said Michael Nikolaides, Senior Vice President Production Engines and E-Drives. “And we are systematically expanding our production network for electric drive trains in response to this.”
The company is investing more than 250 million euros in its Regensburg and Leipzig locations alone to supply the BMW Group’s growing number of electrified vehicles with high-voltage batteries. High-voltage battery components will be used in production of the BMW iX and BMW i4, both of which will be released onto the market shortly. The production systems are highly flexible and will also supply battery components for other BMW Group electrified vehicles in the future.
Leipzig is the BMW Group’s pioneer plant for electromobility and has been building the BMW Group’s first fully-electric vehicle, the BMW i3, since 2013. Now, the location will also produce electric drivetrain components. From May 2021, the 10,000 square meter production area previously reserved for the BMW i8 will be used for manufacturing battery modules. Production will get underway with 80 employees working in battery module production; by the end of the year, there will be a staff of around 150. The company will invest more than 100 million euros in the initial phase of battery module production at the Leipzig location between 2020 and 2022. However, the production line for battery modules that just ramped up is only the beginning: The company has already decided to further increase capacity for battery module production at its Leipzig location. A second production line will come on stream in 2022. This will ensure the company has sufficient volumes to meet growing demand for drivetrains.
The first of four coating lines for fifth-generation battery cells went on stream in April 2021, occupying a production and logistics area of more than 40,000 square meter. The three other systems will ramp up in stages between now and the end of 2021 to supply the growing volumes needed for the BMW Group’s fully electric vehicles. Up until now, battery cells have been coated at BMW Group Plant Dingolfing and the BMW Brilliance Automotive Plant Powertrain in Shenyang, China.
Coating increases the battery cell’s mechanical robustness and thermal conductivity. This helps improve insulation and cooling of the fifth-generation e-drive’s even more powerful battery cells. From 2022, the plant in Regensburg will produce high-voltage batteries from battery modules. A total of 100 employees already work in battery component production at the Regensburg site; by the end of 2022, there will be more than 300. The company will invest more than 150 million euros in ramping up production of battery components and high-voltage batteries between 2020 and 2022.
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