BMW Begins Construction on New High-Voltage Battery Assembly Plant in South Carolina

BMW marked a significant milestone on Tuesday with the commencement of construction for a new high-voltage battery assembly plant in Woodruff, South Carolina, signifying the company’s commitment to producing electric vehicles in the United States. Dubbed “Plant Woodruff,” this facility will manufacture sixth-generation batteries to cater to the electric vehicle needs of BMW Manufacturing located in Spartanburg, in close proximity. The establishment of Plant Woodruff is expected to generate over 300 job opportunities, with potential for future expansion.

Plant Woodruff to Manufacture Sixth-Generation Batteries for BMW’s Electric Vehicle Needs

In October of last year, BMW CEO Oliver Zipse made a significant announcement regarding a substantial investment of $1.7 billion in the company’s U.S. operations. This investment includes allocating $1 billion towards equipping Plant Spartanburg for the manufacturing of fully electric vehicles, and an additional $700 million for the establishment of a new high-voltage battery assembly plant. Situated on a spacious 315-acre plot in close proximity to the city, the Woodruff facility will occupy an expansive area exceeding one million square feet. The construction plan encompasses various support structures such as a technology building, cafeteria, fire department, and energy center.

BMW Partners with AESC to Produce Battery Cells for Sixth-Generation eDrive Technology

In a press release, BMW said that is embracing a “local for local” approach by collaborating with partner AESC, who is embarking on the construction of a state-of-the-art 30 GWh battery cell factory in Florence, South Carolina. As a result, BMW will procure battery cells from AESC, with the latter commencing the groundbreaking ceremony for its new facility on June 7.

New Battery Cells to Enhance Energy Density, Boost Charging Speed, and Extend Range

The forthcoming battery cells will be specifically tailored for the sixth generation of BMW eDrive technology, featuring round lithium-ion battery cells. This innovative battery format will enhance energy density by over 20%, while simultaneously boosting charging speed and extending range by up to 30%. Furthermore, the adoption of secondary lithium, cobalt, and nickel materials, alongside the utilization of renewable energy during production, will help curtail CO2 emissions by up to 60% during cell manufacturing.

Plant Spartanburg to Manufacture Minimum of Six Fully Electric BMWs by 2030

Subsequently, the battery cells produced at AESC’s Florence facility will be transported to Plant Woodruff. At this location, the cells will be utilized in the production of batteries for fully electric BMW X models, which will take place at Plant Spartanburg. Looking ahead, Plant Spartanburg is projected to manufacture a minimum of six fully electric BMWs by 2030.