BMW Group expands e-drive production network: Start of battery component production in Leipzig and Regensburg

BMW:BMW Group expands e-drive production network: Start of battery component production in Leipzig and Regensburg

  • BMW Group now producing high-voltage batteries and
    battery
    components at three locations in Germany alone:
    Dingolfing,
    Leipzig and Regensburg
  • Less than a year from decision to start of production in

    Leipzig and Regensburg
  • Production of battery components for BMW Group’s fifth generation
    of fully-electric vehicles

 

Munich/Leipzig/Regensburg. 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.

“We are increasing capacity at existing locations and developing
capabilities at others. In this way, we can make the most of our
associates’ expertise and experience and offer them long-term, secure
jobs,” Nikolaides added. The BMW Group is investing a total of around
790 million euros in expanding production capacity for drivetrain
components for electrified vehicles at its Dingolfing, Leipzig,
Regensburg and Steyr locations between 2020 and 2022.



Production of battery modules at BMW Group Plant Leipzig

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.

“We are continuing on this track with the launch of battery module
production and further enhancing the plant’s future viability for
electromobility,” confirmed Hans-Peter Kemser, Plant Director of BMW
Group Plant Leipzig. “Plant Leipzig will play an important role in
supplying the growing number of BMW Group electrified vehicles with
battery components.” The successor to the MINI Countryman, scheduled
to come off the production line in Leipzig from 2023, will be released
onto the market with an electric drive train. “The expertise and
experience gained by staff at our location over the years can be put
to good use. Construction of the battery module lines will make a
major contribution to long-term job security,” emphasised Kemser.

From May 2021, the 10,000 sq. m. 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.



Production of battery components and high-voltage
batteries at BMW Group Plant Regensburg

BMW Group Plant Regensburg already produces two electrified models –
plug-in hybrid variants of the BMW X1* and BMW X2* – and will start
building the fully-electric BMW X1 in 2022. The site’s e-mobility
expertise and experience will now also be used in production of
battery components and high-voltage batteries.

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 sq. m. “Regensburg has made a successful
start to production of electric drivetrain components – this is an
important milestone in our transformation,” according to Frank
Bachmann, Plant Director of BMW Group Plant Regensburg. 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.

Holistic approach to sustainability

The BMW Group has a clear mission to ensure the “greenest electric
vehicle comes from the BMW Group”, starting in production. The BMW
Group already sources only green power for its manufacturing locations worldwide.

The BMW Group’s energy goals are geared towards the long term. The
company reduced its emissions per vehicle produced by more than 70
percent between 2019 and 2006.The aim is to lower these CO2 emissions
by another 80 percent by 2030. This means the BMW Group will have
reduced its CO2 emissions from production to less than ten percent of
what they were in 2006.

A further corporate objective is to reduce CO2 emissions in the
supplier network by 20 percent by 2030. At the same time, the BMW
Group has reached an agreement with its suppliers that they will only
use renewable green power for producing fifth-generation battery
cells.


From battery cell to high-voltage battery

Production of high-voltage batteries can be broken down into two
stages: Battery modules are produced in a highly automated process.
The lithium-ion cells first undergo a plasma cleaning, before a
specially developed system coats the cells to ensure optimal
insulation. Next, the battery cells are assembled into a larger unit,
the so-called battery module. The BMW Group obtains its battery cells
from partners who produce them to the company’s exact specifications.
The BMW Group uses different battery cells, depending on which
provides the best properties for each vehicle concept.

The battery modules are then installed in an aluminium housing,
together with the connections to the vehicle, and the control and
cooling units. The size and shape of the aluminium housing and the
number of battery modules used differ according to the vehicle
variant. This ensures the high-voltage battery is optimally adjusted
to the vehicle.

Global e-drive production network focused in Germany

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 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. BMW
Group Plant Steyr builds the housing for the highly integrated
fifth-generation e-drive.

With the BMW Group’s electro-offensive now in full swing, increased
production capacity is needed for electric drivetrain components.
Thanks to intelligent vehicle architectures and a highly flexible
production network, the BMW Group will have about a dozen
fully-electric models on the roads from 2023. The BMW i3*, MINI Cooper
SE* and BMW iX3* already on the market will be joined later this year
by 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. By the end of 2025, the company will have delivered a total of
around two million fully-electric vehicles to customers. Based on
current market forecasts, the BMW Group 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 company will release about
ten million fully-electric vehicles onto the roads.

This means the BMW Group is strategically on track to reach the
European Union’s ambitious CO2 reduction targets for 2025 and 2030 as well.

BMW
i3: Fuel consumption combined: 0.0 l/100 km; power
consumption combined: 16.3-15.3 kWh/100 km WLTP; CO2
emissions combined: 0 g/km.

BMW
i3s: Fuel consumption combined: 0.0 l/100 km; power
consumption combined: 16.6-16.3 kWh/100 km WLTP; CO2
emissions combined: 0 g/km.

MINI Cooper SE: Fuel consumption combined: 0.0 l/100
km; power consumption combined: 17.6-15.2 kWh/100 km WLTP,
CO2 emissions combined: 0 g/km

BMW iX3: Fuel consumption combined: 0.0 l/100 km;
power consumption combined: 17.8-17.5 kWh/100 km WLTP, CO2
emissions combined: 0 g/km.

BMW iX xDrive50: Power consumption combined: < 21 kWh/100 km in the WLTP test cycle; CO2 emissions combined:
0 g/km (data is provisional and based on forecasts)

BMW iX xDrive40: Power consumption combined: < 20 kWh/100 km in the WLTP test cycle; CO2 emissions combined:
0 g/km (data is provisional and based on forecasts)

BMW X1 xDrive25e: Fuel consumption combined: 1.9-1.7
l/100 km WLTP, power consumption combined: 15.4-15.0 kWh/100 km WLTP;
CO2 emissions combined: 43 g/km. 

BMW X2 xDrive25e: Fuel consumption combined: 1.9
l/100 km WLTP; power consumption combined: 13.7 kWh/100 km WLTP,
CO2 emissions combined: 43 g/km. 

Original Press Release