E-drive train production for the fully-electric models BMW iX and BMW i4 begins

BMW:E-drive train production for the fully-electric models BMW iX and BMW i4 begins

  • BMW Group continues to expand manufacturing capacity at the
    Competence Centre for E-Drive Production in Dingolfing
  • E-drive trains for 500,000 electrified vehicles per year from 2022
  • Extensive in-house drive train expertise: Start of production for
    fifth-generation high-voltage batteries in Germany
  • Successful transformation to e-drive train production

Munich/Dingolfing. Production of fifth-generation
high-voltage batteries and battery modules for use in the BMW iX* and
BMW i4 is now underway at the Competence Centre for E-Drive Production
in Dingolfing. At the same time, the company is also increasing
production capacity for its fifth-generation electric motor, which has
been built in Dingolfing for the BMW iX3* since 2020 and will also
power the BMW iX* and BMW i4. “We expect at least 50 percent of the
vehicles we deliver to our customers worldwide to be electrified by
2030. To achieve this, we are relying on our extensive in-house drive
train expertise: We are increasing capacity at existing drive train
production locations – like here in Dingolfing – and developing
capabilities at others – like recently in Regensburg and Leipzig,”
explained Dr Michael Nikolaides, Senior Vice President, Production
Engines and E-Drives, BMW Group.

The BMW Group is investing more than 500 million euros in expanding
production capacity for e-drives at its Dingolfing location alone
between 2020 and 2022. From 2022, it will produce e-drives for more
than half a million electrified vehicles. The BMW Group will invest a
total of around 790 million euros in expanding capacity for electric
powertrain components at its Dingolfing, Leipzig, Regensburg and Steyr
locations between 2020 and 2022.

Standard production of the BMW iX* will soon get underway at BMW
Group Plant Dingolfing, followed by production of the BMW i4 at Plant
Munich in the autumn. The highly integrated e-drives and high-voltage
batteries for these vehicles will all be manufactured at the
Competence Centre for E-Drive Production in Dingolfing. The BMW Group
already began producing battery components at Plants Regensburg and
Leipzig in April and May 2021. In line with growing demand for
e-drives, BMW Group Plants Landshut and Steyr are also stepping up
production of e-drive housings.

Production of fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology

The output and energy content of drive units and high-voltage
batteries with fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology can be flexibly
scaled. This means they can be optimally adjusted to suit different
model variants.

Each vehicle uses up to two highly integrated e-drives, which combine
the electric motor, power electronics and transmission in a single
housing. Based on the design principle of a current-excited rotor, the
fifth-generation e-drive does not require any materials classified as
rare-earth metals.

BMW eDrive technology also comprises a high-voltage battery with
state-of-the-art battery cell technology. The BMW Group agreed with
its suppliers that they will only use renewable green power for
producing fifth-generation battery cells. The entire high-voltage
battery boasts outstanding qualities in the areas of performance,
charging and discharging characteristics, durability and safety. The
technically standardised production process for battery modules has
been further developed in such a way that different module variants
can be produced on the same production line – in line with the growing
range of electrified vehicle models and performance levels. The
production systems are highly flexible and scalable. Battery modules
are produced from supplied prismatic battery cells at the respective
BMW Group production location. A modular system developed in-house
allows model-specific high-voltage batteries to be manufactured from
these modules in a flexible arrangement.

The company has outstanding expertise and experience, both in the
field of battery cell technology and in production of model-specific
high-voltage batteries. The BMW Group conducts basic research in the
fields of cell chemistry and cell design at its own Battery Cell
Competence Centre. The BMW Group also produces battery cell prototypes
itself. These battery cell prototypes are used in tests to validate
the development maturity of battery cells and to demonstrate the
effectiveness of the production processes. In addition, the prototype
production of the battery cells serves the identification of process
potentials as well as the optimization of the production processes. In
this way, the BMW Group gains a thorough understanding of the entire
battery cell value chain and the decisive competitive advantages its
chemical and technical properties offer. This enables battery cells to
be manufactured to precise specifications that are geared towards each
vehicle’s individual requirements.

Competence Centre for E-Drive Production

Following extensive expansion, the Competence Centre for E-Drive
Production now provides a usable area of 125,000 sq. m. This is where
the company manufactures electric motors and the components needed for
them, as well as high-voltage batteries and battery modules. A paint
coating is also applied to the battery cells at this location. The
coating increases mechanical robustness and thermal conductivity,
thereby improving insulation and cooling of the even more powerful
fifth-generation battery cells.

Plant Dingolfing has been manufacturing standard high-voltage
batteries and battery modules since 2013, when the BMW Group’s first
all-electric vehicle, the BMW i3*, went into production. The first
production lines for electric motors and high-voltage batteries for
plug-in hybrids went on-stream there in 2014. The Competence Centre
for E-Drive Production has been steadily growing ever since. The plant
has also been producing high-voltage batteries for the fully electric
MINI Cooper SE* since 2019 and, since 2020, also the highly integrated
fifth-generation e-drive used for the first time in the BMW iX3*.
Production of the even more powerful high-voltage batteries for the
BMW iX* and BMW i4 is now getting underway. E-drives for future models
can also be produced on the flexible production lines.

Qualification for long-term, sustainable jobs

With the BMW Group systematically pursuing progress in
electromobility, the demands on employees and their areas of
responsibility are also constantly evolving. “We are growing our staff
for e-drive production almost exclusively through personnel
restructuring. We are actively shaping the transformation process and
leveraging our employees’ skills so we can develop long-term
sustainable jobs,” explains Nikolaides.

The Competence Centre for E-Drive Production in Dingolfing currently
has almost 1,400 employees. By the end of 2021, around 1,900 employees
are expected to work in e-drive production in Dingolfing.

Production employees receive further training at the in-house
learning centre, which uses innovative vocational training and further
education methods to provide employees with intensive preparation for
their new tasks. Employees’ knowledge and skills are being expanded
specifically to include new electromobility technologies, with a
training concept that is constantly updated. The training sessions are
held in the classroom, at practice workstations and directly on the
production lines. Digital methods and augmented reality play a bigger
role here than ever before. Thanks to these methods, the training
courses were also able to continue safely during the coronavirus
pandemic, in compliance with health and safety measures.

“The learning centre takes a holistic approach that supports
employees throughout their professional development and further
education, from their first day in production,” reports Dr Sven
Jochmann, head of Production E-Drives Dingolfing, Landshut,
Regensburg, Leipzig. “As well as trainers and managers, new colleagues
are also supported by trained mentors who help them quickly find their
way around their new working environment,” adds Jochmann.

Transformation of the Dingolfing location

The Dingolfing location is a prime example of the successful
transformation of the BMW Group plants towards e-mobility and
digitalisation. E-drive production, including electric motors and
high-voltage batteries, is located in an existing, roughly 50-year-old
building at the site, rather than using new space. The infrastructure
was adapted to the new requirements and expanded accordingly. A modern
staff restaurant seats 300 and there is also a new parking deck with
space for 800 vehicles. The structural measures are rounded out by a
25,000 sq. m. logistics hall, new office spaces and social rooms close
to the production area, as well as an additional plant gate in the
south for improved logistics flows.

On the issue of sustainability, the BMW Group takes a holistic
approach to reducing CO2 emissions and minimising resource
consumption that covers the entire value chain, including in-house
production, the supply chain and use phase. In Dingolfing, as at all
BMW Group locations, production uses only green power. In addition,
all BMW Group locations have been net carbon neutral since this year,
through corresponding offsets and certificates. The company is also
using many other levers: from building technology to energy-efficient
installations to increased use of renewable energies. Electric trucks
will be used for intra-company goods transport at the Competence
Centre for E-Drive Production from the autumn.

2030: At least 50 percent of global BMW Group sales will be
fully electric

The BMW Group continues its massive electromobility ramp-up: The
company will offer five fully-electric models by the end of this year:
the BMW i3*, the MINI Cooper SE* and the BMW iX3*, as well as the two
main innovation flagships, 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. Based on its
current market forecast, the company also 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 BMW Group will be releasing
about ten million fully-electric vehicles onto the roads.

Global e-drive production network with a focus 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 advancing 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.

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 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.

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.

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

Original Press Release