BMW's plant in Leipzig to start battery module production in 2021
The BMW Group is further expanding its Germany- based production capacities for electric drives. From 2021, the Leipzig plant will also produce battery modules for the high-voltage batteries of the group’s electrified vehicles.
By 2022, the company is investing more than EUR 100 million in the site to prepare for the steadily increasing sales of electrified vehicles, strengthening its role and position among e-mobility providers, a press release reads. “We are consistently ramping up the production of e-drives to meet our ambitious electric mobility targets,” says Michael Nikolaides, Head of Planning and Production Engines and E-Drives. “Just recently, we opened our Competence Center for E-drive Production in Dingolfing and doubled the production capacity for high-voltage batteries at BMW Brilliance Automotive in China by opening another battery center. Now we are also stepping up our battery production output in Germany.” “We are delighted to once again bring e-mobility to Leipzig,” says the Director of BMW Group Plant Leipzig, Hans-Peter Kemser. “We are investing more than 100 million euros in setting up the battery module production on premises comprising a total of 10,000 square meters.” The large-series production of battery modules at the Leipzig site is scheduled to start as early as in mid-2021. As the production site of the BMW i3, the BMW Group’s first all-electric vehicle, the Leipzig plant has been involved in electric mobility since 2013. The production process for high-voltage batteries consists of two main steps; Firstly, the battery cells are tested and then assembled into larger units, the battery modules, in a highly automated process. BMW procures the battery cells from partners who produce them according to the group’s specifications. The group uses different battery cells, depending on which one provides the best characteristics for the relevant concept. The battery modules are then mounted into an aluminum casing along with the vehicle connectors, control units and cooling units. The size and shape of the aluminum casing as well as the number of battery modules used vary depending on the vehicle variant. The result is a high-voltage battery ideally adapted to the vehicle. Global production network for high-voltage batteries with increased focus on Germany To date, the high-voltage batteries for all electrified vehicles of the BMW and MINI brands have been produced at the three in-house battery production facilities in Dingolfing in Germany, Spartanburg in the USA and Shenyang in China. The new battery module production at BMW Group Plant Leipzig will join this network from 2021 onward.