BMW Group Plant Regensburg will produce drive components for electrified vehicles from 2021

BMW:BMW Group Plant Regensburg will produce drive components for electrified vehicles from 2021

Regensburg. The BMW Group is further expanding its
Germany-based production capacities for electric drives.  From 2021,
battery cells for high-voltage batteries will be coated at BMW Group
Plant Regensburg and complete high-voltage batteries will be produced
from 2022. The company is investing over 150 million euros in the site
in order to supply the growing number of electrified BMW Group
vehicles with high-voltage batteries.

The new e-drive production location was announced today by Michael
Nikolaides, Head of Planning and Production Engines and E-Drives, and
Frank Bachmann, Director of BMW Group Plant Regensburg, at an event
with the Lord Mayor of Regensburg, Gertrud Maltz-Schwarzfischer.

“Electric mobility is substantially driving growth for the BMW Group
and this development is also reflected in our e-drive production,”
explained Michael Nikolaides: “In 2020, we went full throttle on
e-drive production.” In July, the company opened the Competence Center
for E-drive Production in Dingolfing and doubled the production
capacity of high-voltage batteries at BMW Brilliance Automotive by
opening another battery center in China. As recently as September, the
BMW Group announced it would be producing battery modules at BMW Group
Plant Leipzig from 2021. “Now Regensburg will see battery component
production added in 2021, followed just a year later by high-voltage
battery production. All of this demonstrates that we are consistently
ramping up the production of e-drives,” stressed Nikolaides. In total,
the BMW Group is investing around 750 million euros across its
Dingolfing, Leipzig and Regensburg sites in expanding its production
capacity for electrified vehicle drive components by 2022.

“From 2021, BMW Group Plant Regensburg will not just produce
electrified vehicles, but also e-drive components,” said Frank
Bachmann: “We are investing over 150 million euros by 2022 in
high-voltage battery production as well as the necessary components. A
total of at least 300 future-proof jobs will be created in this new
area of production until 2024.” This strategic decisions highlights
“just how seriously we take this issue and that the BMW Group
continues to place a strong emphasis on Germany as a production
location,” underscored Nikolaides. Therefore, the BMW Group is
securing employment across its German sites and is demonstrating
foresight by restructuring expertise as needed over the course of the
transition to electromobility.

High-voltage batteries are a cornerstone of this transition

BMW Group Plant Regensburg started production of two electrified
models this year with the plug-in hybrid versions of the BMW X1 and
the BMW X2. At the same time, with extensive investments and
conversions, the plant is preparing itself so that moving forward it
can respond flexibly to changing demand for different drive types.
“Battery cell coating and high-voltage battery production will play a
key role in this transition,” said Plant Director Frank Bachmann. The
coating of battery cells will start at the beginning of 2021. Coating
the cells gives them greater mechanical robustness and better thermal
conductivity. This allows for improved insulation and cooling of the
even more powerful battery cells for the fifth generation of the
e-drive. From 2022, the Regensburg plant will also produce complete
high-voltage batteries from battery modules.

From battery cell to high-voltage battery

The production process for high-voltage batteries consists of two
main steps and the battery modules are produced in a highly automated
process. First, the lithium-ion cells undergo a plasma cleaning
process. Specially developed equipment coats the cells to ensure
optimal insulation. The battery cells are then assembled into larger
units, known as battery modules. The BMW Group procures the battery
cells from partners who produce them according to the company’s
precise specifications. The BMW Group uses different battery cells,
depending on which one provides the best characteristics for the
relevant vehicle concept.

The battery modules are then mounted into an aluminum casing along
with the vehicle connectors, control units and cooling units. The size
and shape of the aluminum casing as well as the number of battery
modules used vary depending on the vehicle variant. The result is a
high-voltage battery ideally adapted to the vehicle.

This combination of standardized battery modules and casings flexibly
adapted to the vehicle has several advantages: Firstly, it ensures
uniform properties and quality standards in the production of the
high-voltage batteries. Secondly, the modular design of the
high-voltage battery serves as the basis for a wide range of e-drive
variants. Last but not least, this modular approach is a crucial
prerequisite for being able to respond quickly to customer demand and
take advantage of cost savings.

Global production network for e-drives with a focus on Germany

To date, the high-voltage batteries for all electrified vehicles of
the BMW and MINI brands have been produced at the three in-house
battery production facilities in Dingolfing, Spartanburg/USA and
Shenyang/China. In Thailand too, the BMW Group has localized the
production of high-voltage batteries for the Rayong plant in a
cooperation project with the Dräxlmaier Group. The new battery
component and high-voltage battery production at BMW Group Plants
Regensburg and Leipzig will join this network from 2021 onward. 
Munich is home to both the pilot plant for e-drives and the Battery
Cell Competence Center. Here the BMW Group comprehensively analyzes
battery cell value-added processes and keeps its production processes
at the cutting edge.

The company produces electric engines at the Competence Center for
E-drive Production in Dingolfing and BMW Group Plant Landshut.
Accordingly, the BMW Group will in future produce e-drive components
in large-scale series production at seven locations worldwide, four of
them in Germany.

Ramping up e-drive component production capacity is key to meeting
the BMW Group’s ambitious electric mobility targets. As early as 2021,
one in four BMW Group vehicles sold in Europe is expected to be fitted
with an electric drive. By 2025, it’ll be one in three, and one in two
by 2030. By 2023, the BMW Group will have 25 electrified models on the
road, half of which will have an all-electric drive.

Original Press Release