BMW expands battery plant on EV demand
Massive growth of facility reflects demand for electric models Metal Tech News Weekly Edition – February 12, 2020
Last updated 6/27/2020 at 5:16am
Growing demand for electric vehicles has prompted the BMW Group to accelerate the expansion of production capacity and staff at its Competence Centre for E-Drive Production in Dingolfing, Germany.
"We are embarking on a massive expansion of our Competence Centre for E-Drive Production in Dingolfing – from 8,000 square meters currently to 80,000 in the future. This is where we produce powertrain components for our fully and partially electric models," said BMW Group Head of Production Engines and E-drives Michael Nikolaides. "By the end of the year, we will increase our staff in this area from 600 to more than 1,400."
With the recent addition of the BMW 330e, BMW X5 xDrive45e and BMW X3 xDrive30e plug-in hybrids, together with the pure electric MINI Cooper SE, the luxury German automaker now has 12 electrified vehicles in its line-up.
These will be joined in 2020 by additional electrified models, such as the BMW X1 plug-in hybrid and the fully electric BMW iX3.
Due to the growing demand for these electric and hybrid models, the plant expects the number of modules needed for production of high-voltage batteries to double from the previous year. The number of electric motors required will also increase significantly.
BMW said up to 2,000 employees will work on electric motors, battery modules and high-voltage batteries in Dingolfing in the medium term.
"Thanks to close cooperation between vehicle and component development, our Dingolfing site is now leading the transformation of the automotive industry," said Dingolfing Head Christoph Schröder. "More than one in five BMW 5 Series Sedans built at our Dingolfing vehicle plant today is already a plug-in hybrid."
The BMW Group plans to expand its range of electrified vehicles to 25 models by 2023 – more than half of them fully electric. A quarter of the BMW Group vehicles sold in Europe are likely to be electrified by 2021; this percentage will reach a third in 2025 and half in 2030.
As a result, the company has a correspondingly high demand for electric motors and batteries.
The Dingolfing plant plays a pivotal role in supplying other sites with these electric powertrain components.
"We don't just supply the vehicle plant here in Dingolfing; we also delivery batteries and electric motors to most of our automotive plants worldwide," says Nikolaides.
The BMW Group recently signed an agreement to secure the lithium it needs for the batteries powering its electrified vehicles. More information can be found in Plenty of lithium to go around for now in the Jan. 15 edition of Metal Tech News.