In Dingolfing, Lower Bavaria, BMW boss Oliver Zipse opened the new battery and electric motor factory on Thursday (July 2, 2020) and announced: “As early as 2022, in Dingolfing alone, we will be producing electric drives for over half a million electrified vehicles per year can.”
The number of employees has increased from 600 to 1000 since January and will be increased to 2000 in the medium term. From the original 8,000 square meters in 2015, the production area of the e-drive production competence center is set to increase tenfold over the next few years to 80,000 square meters. In recent years, the existing structures of a large, former parts warehouse of BMW Group Aftersales Logistics have been used and upgraded for production. Next year, one in four BMWs sold in Europe will be a hybrid or electric car, and one in three in 2022.
Ab September in China
Together with the Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU), Zipse started the production of the fifth generation of BMW electric drives. It has more powerful batteries, works without rare earths and combines the electric motor, power electronics and gearbox in one housing. It will be used for the first time in the electric BMW SUV iX3, which will roll off the assembly line in China from September.
BMW has its battery cells manufactured by suppliers, but it uses them to build its own batteries – at the largest European plant in Dingolfing, the US plant in Spartanburg and the Chinese plant in Shenyang. The fully electric, highly autonomous luxury SUV iNext should roll off the assembly line in Dingolfing next year; a battery-electric 7 Series BMW is to follow.
Up to twelve assembly lines
“We continue to ramp up electromobility and set standards in the transformation of our industry,” said Zipse. By 2022, the group will invest half a billion euros in Dingolfing. Batteries and electric motors are to be built on eight production lines, and four further assembly lines are already planned.
BMW also announced that it had restructured its supply chains for the new, fifth generation of high-voltage batteries. From 2020, you can buy cobalt and lithium for battery cells directly. This gives complete transparency about the origin of these two important battery raw materials. The supply contracts are also intended to ensure security of supply until 2025 and beyond. In the future, cobalt is to be obtained directly from mines in Australia and Morocco, lithium from Australia, among others.
(With material from dpa)/