The BMW Group has announced it’s accelerating its ramp-up of electric vehicles (EVs) and is poised to gain even more momentum with its next vehicle generation, the NEUE KLASSE, expected in 2025. The company’s aim of 50 per cent of worldwide sales of fully electric vehicles could be reached earlier than 2030.
To help achieve this the company is investing €800 million in the Mexican production plant in San Luis Potosí for the integration of NEUE KLASSE fully-electric models and is setting up its own high-voltage battery assembly for this purpose. This is expected to create 1,000 new jobs at the facility.
Milan Nedeljković, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Production, said: “We are systematically gearing our production network towards electromobility. In Mexico, we are investing €800 million in our plant and creating around 1,000 new jobs.
“The first cars of the NEUE KLASSE will come off the production line at our plant in Debrecen, Hungary, starting in 2025, followed by the main plant in Munich. We will achieve additional volumes by integrating the NEUE KLASSE at Plant San Luis Potosí from 2027 onwards.”
The company recently announced an investment of $1.7 billion in the expansion of its Spartanburg production site in the US. This includes $1 billion for preparations for the production of electric vehicles at the company’s US plant. Plus, $700 million for the construction of a new assembly centre for high-voltage batteries in nearby Woodruff. By 2030, the BMW Group aims to build at least six fully-electric models in the US.
Fully-electric models complement production programme in Mexico
BMW will invest €800 million in Mexico, with €500 million earmarked for construction of a new assembly centre for high-voltage batteries, located on the plant grounds in San Luis Potosí. The new assembly centre spans an area of 85,000 m2. More than 500 additional employees will work there, producing next-generation batteries for fully-electric vehicles.
Harald Gottsche, President and CEO at BMW Group Plant San Luis Potosí, said “With this new investment, our plant in San Luis Potosí will play a central role in BMW Group’s transition to electromobility.
“The company is increasing its commitment to Mexico and its stake in our facility, not only due to its strategic location but, above all, to a solid work team, which, in less than four years after starting operations, already produces three models that supply 74 global markets and stand out for their quality.”
A special feature of the NEUE KLASSE is that the high-voltage battery is directly integrated into the vehicle structure. The assembly in San Luis Potosí is therefore being expanded to integrate this new process into operations. A second shift will begin at the plant in April, adding a further 500 new jobs. A total of about 1,000 additional employees will then be working at the San Luis Potosí site.
Plant San Luis Potosí is characterised by its responsible resource management and measures to reduce CO2. In such a dry region, conserving water is particularly important. The plant is also home to the BMW Group’s first paint shop to operate without producing process wastewater.
The water required for the painting process is treated and then reused. In addition, the plant sources only green power, which it generates itself at a more than 70,000 m2 solar power installation on the plant grounds, supplemented by electricity from an external solar farm.
Newly-developed BMW round cells for NEUE KLASSE vehicles
The models of the NEUE KLASSE will use new, round lithium-ion battery cells developed specifically for what will then be the sixth generation of BMW eDrive technology.
The new battery format will increase energy density by more than 20 per cent and improve charging speed and range by up to 30 per cent. At the same time, CO2 emissions from cell production will be reduced by up to 60 per cent, as a result of cell suppliers relying on energy from renewable resources and, in the case of the raw materials lithium, cobalt and nickel, using a certain percentage of secondary material.