The BMW Group will invest $1.7 billion in its US operations, including $1 billion to prepare for the production of electric vehicles at the company’s Plant Spartanburg in South Carolina, and $700 million to build a new high-voltage battery assembly facility in nearby Woodruff, SC. By 2030 BMW Group will build at least six fully electric models in the US.
BMW Group Plant Spartanburg
For decades, Plant Spartanburg has been a cornerstone of the global success of the BMW Group. The home of the BMW X models that are so popular all over the world. Going forward, it will also be a major driver for our electrification strategy, and we will produce at least six fully electric BMW X models here by 2030. That means: The ‘Home of the X’ is also becoming the ‘Home of the Battery Electric Vehicle’.
In addition, we can showcase BMW Group’s ‘local for local’ principle: Our newly developed sixth-generation battery cells, which were specifically designed for the next generation electric vehicles, will be sourced here in South Carolina.mdwhere X goes electric.—Oliver Zipse, BMW Group Chairman of the Board of Management
In line with the principle of “local for local,” the BMW Group aims to purchase battery cells for its electric vehicles where production takes place. The company will partner with Envision AESC, which will build a new battery cell factory in South Carolina, to supply Plant Spartanburg. Envision will produce newly developed cylindrical lithium-ion battery cells, which were specifically designed for the sixth-generation of BMW eDrive technology, and will be used in the next generation electric vehicles. (Earlier post.)The annual capacity of the battery cell factory will be up to 30 GWh.
The new battery format will increase energy density by more than 20%, improve charging speed by up to 30% and enhance range by up to 30%. At the same time, CO2 emissions from cell production will be reduced by up to 60% through the partial use of secondary lithium, cobalt and nickel material, as well as renewable energy for production.
The cooperation with Envision AESC is an important step in the BMW Group’s plan to strengthen its regional supply chains. The expansion of electric vehicle production in combination with a local battery cell factory will lead to the creation of new supply chains, new networks for sub-suppliers, and new jobs throughout the entire region.
BMW Group has already announced that four additional battery cell factories will be built in Europe and China to meet its demand for next generation battery cells. The cell factories are being built by partners and will each have an annual capacity of up to 20 GWh.
Of the new $1.7~billion investment, $700 million will be used to build a new high-voltage BMW battery assembly center in Woodruff, SC, near Plant Spartanburg. The new facility will encompass more than 1 million sq. ft., and produce next generation batteries for fully electric vehicles. Around 300 new jobs will be created on site.
Plant Spartanburg currently produces lithium-ion battery modules for the two plug-in hybrid electric vehicles built at the plant, the BMW X3 xDrive30e (fuel consumption combined: 2.6-2.0 l/100 km WLTP; power consumption combined: 20.5-18.9 kWh/100 km WLTP, CO2 emissions combined: 59-45 g/km WLTP) and BMW X5 xDrive45e (fuel consumption in l/100 km combined: 1.7-1.2 WLTP; power consumption in kWh/100 km combined: 27.7-24.3 WLTP; CO2 emissions in g/km combined: 39-27 WLTP.). In 2021, nearly 70,000 electrified BMWs were built on site. The site in Woodruff will also leverage the experience and expertise developed in Plant Spartanburg’s existing operations at the new facility.
Plant Spartanburg was established 30 years ago and began producing vehicles two years later. Since then, the plant has become the global center of competence for BMW Sports Activity Vehicles and a critical component of the company’s global production network. The plant currently represents an investment of nearly $12 billion, employs more than 11,000, and has an annual capacity of up to 450,000 vehicles. To date more than six million BMW vehicles have been built in the US for the US and global markets. Based on this strength, BMW has been the largest automotive exporter from the US by value for the past eight years.
Plant Spartanburg currently produces 11 models including the BMW X3, X4, X5, X6 and X7 Sports Activity Vehicles, four BMW M models and two plug-in hybrid electric models. Production of the all-new hybrid-electric BMW XM (fuel consumption in l/100 km combined: 1.6-1.5 WLTP; power consumption in kWh/100 km combined: 30.1-28.9 WLTP; CO2 emissions in g/km combined: 36-33 WLTP. Preliminary figures that have not yet been officially confirmed.) will begin later this year.