BMW Group has announced a $1.7 billion investment to increase its electromobility capacity in the United States, including plans to convert an existing facility for electric vehicle manufacturing and construct a new battery facility.
The new investments follow BMW's announcement last year that it would expand its efforts to combat climate change, including goals to significantly reduce vehicle emissions throughout the vehicle's lifecycle, reduce CO2 emissions per vehicle by 40% by 2030, and generate at least 50% of its global sales from battery electric vehicles by 2030.
One billion dollars of the new $1.7 billion investment will go toward developing Plant Spartanburg, the company's electric vehicle manufacturing site in South Carolina. The 30-year-old facility is BMW's only manufacturing plant in the United States, with an annual production capacity of up to 450,000 vehicles and 11 models currently in production.
BMW indicated that it intends to manufacture at least six fully electric vehicles in the United States by 2030.
President and Chief Executive Officer of BMW Manufacturing Co. Robert Engelhorn said:
"This is a crucial step for Plant Spartanburg as we continue our heritage of producing high-quality automobiles and build on the success of the last three decades. With this newest investment, we are future-proofing our operations and preparing the facility for electrification and new technologies, assuring both the long-term prosperity of our firm and our standing as a desirable and viable employment in South Carolina."
The remaining $700 million will be used to construct a new one million square foot high-voltage battery assembly facility in Woodruff, Georgia.
BMW also announced a new relationship with battery technology firm Envision AESC to provide Plant Spartanburg with battery cells from a new facility that Envision would construct. BMW noted that the agreement is consistent with its "local for local" approach since it will purchase battery cells for its electric vehicles in the region where production occurs. The plant will create cells developed explicitly for the sixth generation of BMW eDrive technology, with a capacity of up to 30 GWh.
The new battery design is rumored to increase energy density by more than 20%, charging speed by up to 30%, and range by up to 30%. The utilization of secondary lithium, cobalt, and nickel materials, as well as renewable energy, will minimize CO2 emissions from cell manufacture by up to 60 percent, according to the business.
According to Oliver Zipse, the U.S. BMW Group's chairman of the board of management:
"Plant Spartanburg has been a cornerstone of the BMW Group's global success for decades...
In the future, it will also be a key driver for our electrification strategy, and we will produce at least six fully electric BMW X vehicles in the United States by 2030. In addition, we can demonstrate the BMW Group's 'local for local' principle: Our freshly developed sixth generation battery cells, intended exclusively for the next generation of electric vehicles, will be sourced right here in South Carolina, where X goes electric."