BMW just doubled battery production in the US

Photo BMW

Photo BMW

By Nicholas Yekikian

Remember when BMW Director of Development Klaus Frölich said, “There are no customer requests for BEVs – none”? Yeah, so do we. Whether customers have expressed desire for a battery electric vehicle with a BMW badge on it remains conjecture – though we’re assuming at least one person does.

What isn’t conjecture is the fact that BMW recently sped up its plans to build 25 “electrified models” by the year 2025 by two years – with its new target being 2023. To support that goal, the BMW plant in Spartanburg has just finished doubling its battery production capacity.

The South Carolinian plant is the only manufacturing facility BMW has in the United States and employs some 8,800 people. The plant is also BMW's only production site for X4, X5, X6, and X7 SUVs, but they also build batteries for BMWs electrified models; think 330e, i3 and so on. 

The batteries that are being produced won’t go very far, as they’re intended for use in plug-in hybrid versions of the new BMW X5 and the future BMW X3 – both of which are produced in Spartanburg.

“We have invested around ten million US dollars in a new battery assembly line and expanded the area to more than 8,000 square metres. This means we could double the number of batteries produced if needed to meet market demand,” Michael Nikolaides, Senior Vice President of Electrified Drivetrains said in a press release.

The  press release also noted that more than 120 people will be employed to build the new, fourth generation batteries by year’s end – though, no word on if those employees will be new hires or current employees that are moved to battery production. 

BMW said it invested “around ten million US dollars” to support the production of these fourth-generation batteries and the next generation of the X5, and we hope is pays off.


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