BMW Group Plant Spartanburg in South Carolina has doubled its capacity for production of high-voltage batteries. The plant’s own battery facility now produces the new fourth-generation batteries. These are intended for the plug-in hybrid models of the new BMW X5 and the future BMW X3, also produced in Spartanburg.
We have invested around ten million US dollars in a new battery assembly line and expanded the area to more than 8,000 square meters. This means we could double the number of batteries produced if needed to meet market demand.—Michael Nikolaides, Senior Vice President Engines and Electrified Drivetrains, BMW Group
The new assembly line will be able to produce different types of fourth-generation batteries to serve the growing range of electrified vehicles locally. More than 120 people will be employed in battery production at Plant Spartanburg by the end of the year.
BMW Group has produced batteries on site at Plant Spartanburg since 2015, said Knudt Flor, President and CEO, BMW Manufacturing, Co., LLC. In the past four years, the plant’s battery assembly team has produced a total of more than 45,000 batteries.
Between 2015 and 2018, BMW Group Plant Spartanburg built the first series produced plug-in hybrid vehicle, the BMW X5 xDrive40e, for the core BMW brand. The start of production for the new BMW X5 xDrive45e will be in August 2019; production of the BMW X3 xDrive30e will get underway in December.
Since the start of the year, the BMW Group has invested a further ten million US dollars in production of plug-in hybrid models. An additional 225 vehicle assembly workers received training in the production of electrified vehicles.
The BMW Group currently has three battery facilities: at the Competence Centre for E-drive Production at BMW Group Plant Dingolfing in Germany; at BMW Group Plant Spartanburg in the US; and at Plant Powertrain of its joint venture, BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA). The BMW Group also produces batteries for local car production in cooperation with a partner in Thailand. The BMW Group’s battery research and pilot plant are located in Munich.