It was only a few days ago when BMW confirmed plans to build a battery assembly factory in Straßkirchen and now it’s making a new announcement to safeguard its EV future. Until 2026, the German automotive conglomerate intends to spend more than €100 million ($106M at current exchange rates) for a new battery testing center located in Wackersdorf, a municipality in the district of Schwandorf in Bavaria.
The new facility is going to be integrated into the existing building structures and will cover a total area spanning 8,442 square meters (90,868 square feet). Most of the money will be invested on a test bench and the necessary modifications to the infrastructure to accommodate the new hardware. Work is well underway as BMW is already remodeling a building originally built back in the 1980s as a reprocessing facility.
Structural work is currently being carried out, which includes a new floor slab for the revamped building. The first battery testers will be put to work as early as the middle of next year when the cells will be evaluated early in the development phase. In this initial phase, BMW will monitor the electrical performance of individual cells under different conditions when charging and discharging the batteries. Only several hundred cells will be tested in parallel at first before ramping up the process to several thousand.
Fast forward to 2025, BMW’s battery testing center in Wackersdorf will be in charge (pun intended) of validating electric vehicles before these enter series production. The EVs will have their batteries evaluated in shock and vibration tests. In addition, endurance tests will simulate charging and discharging cycles as well as a variety of driving patterns.
Although the Neue Klasse platform will usher in round cells with the first EVs arriving in 2025, rumor has it that BMW still intends to launch electric vehicles based on the existing CLAR architecture. We’re hearing there will be iX5 and iX6 models with the “old” hardware, but nothing is official yet.