One year after the two partners signed a memorandum of understanding, the joint venture formed by the BMW Group and PSA Peugeot Citroën to develop and manufacture hybrid and drive technology—BMW Peugeot Citroën Electrification (earlier post)—is now up and running. Production of hybrid components for the electrification of both companies' models is scheduled to begin in 2015.
BMW Peugeot Citroën Electrification aims to become one of the leading players in the field of electric powertrains within a few years, as well as a pacesetter on the road to the mobility of the future. Through the creation of an open technology platform, the joint venture intends to provide crucial support for the European industry as it structures itself in this domain.
The BMW Group and PSA are investing more than €100 million (US$139 million) in the joint venture. Around 400 employees will work at the new Research and Development Centre in Munich by the end of 2011: The main profiles required are engineers specialized in electro-mobility and electronics. The hybrid components designed there will be manufactured at the facility in Mulhouse in France, which will have around 250 employees once ramp-up is complete.
The development and production spectrum of BMW Peugeot Citroën Electrification comprises all relevant components for electric powertrains, including high-voltage batteries; electric motors; generators; power electronics; loading units; and energy management software. As part of its independent activities, the joint venture will create an open technology platform that will allow it to integrate suppliers into the development and purchasing process and sell the hybrid components it produces to third parties.
The BMW Group and PSA Peugeot Citroën have been working together as partners in the field of drive technology for almost ten years. More than 1.8 million 4-cylinder gasoline engines have already been produced for MINI, Peugeot and Citroën brand models as part of the partnership established in 2002. In February 2010, the two companies also agreed to continue their partnership with joint development of the next generation of these 4-cylinder gasoline engines. The joint venture now up and running will speed up the standardization of hybrid components, which should also generate substantial economies of scale in purchasing and production.