The automotive industry is gradually entering the electric era and companies are futureproofing their lineups with a wide array of EVs. The BMW Group is taking the same path with its Neue Klasse platform that will be inaugurated in 2025 at the newly erected Debrecen plant, with Munich to follow suit in 2026. Across the pond, a massive investment of $1.7 billion announced today will bring the production of NE-based models to North America.
The BMW Group is spending $1 billion at Plant Spartanburg to get the facility ready for the new wave of EVs. At least six models without a combustion engine will enter production at the factory in South Carolina by the end of the decade. To support their arrival, $700 million will be invested in a new battery assembly facility located in Woodruff, SC.
It should be specified all six EVs will be part of the “X” lineup, which isn’t all too surprising since all models produced at Plant Spartanburg are SUVs. The X3 through X7 are built there, together with their M Performance and M derivatives, with the XM to hit the assembly line before the end of the year as a dedicated M model.
At the heart of these electric X models will be the recently announced sixth-generation battery technology developed specifically for Neue Klasse models. The round cells will boost range and charging speed by as much as 30% and increase energy density by more than 20%. In addition, BMW says CO2 emissions generated during cell production will be reduced by 60% by relying on renewable energy and partial use of secondary lithium, cobalt, and nickel material. The switch from prismatic to round cells will help BMW halve production costs compared to the existing fifth-generation batteries.
The BMW Group is teaming up with Envision AESC to build the battery plant. The Automotive Energy Supply Corporation will also produce these round lithium-ion battery cells and is targeting a maximum annual capacity of 30 GWh. The new facility will stretch across more than one million square feet and will lead to the creation of 300 jobs.
Plant Spartanburg is no stranger to electrification considering the lithium-ion battery modules for the locally produced X3 xDrive30e and xDrive45e are built there. Last year alone, BMW USA manufactured nearly 70,000 plug-in hybrid vehicles in South Carolina.
Source: BMW Group