BMW Group announced today a $1.7 billion investment divided between its Plant Spartanburg facility in Greer, South Carolina, to prepare the plant for new EV production, and a new battery cell plant in Woodruff, South Carolina, to manufacture round lithium-ion cells for the new EVs manufactured at Plant Spartanburg.
According to BMW Group Chairman of the Board of Management, Oliver Zipse, Plant Spartanburg will drive the company's electrification strategy.
“In addition, we can showcase BMW Group’s ‘local for local’ principle: Our newly developed sixth generation battery cells, which were specifically designed for the next generation electric vehicles, will be sourced here in South Carolina," Zipse says.
New Technology Needs a New Factory
$700 million of the investment will go towards production of the new one million sq. ft. battery plant, that has a planned annual capacity of 30 GWh and will produce 300 new jobs. BMW Group will partner with Envision AESC to build the new facility.
The new cells planned for production at the Woodruff plant were designed specifically to support BMW's sixth-generation eDrive technology. They improve charging speed and enhance range up to 30 percent each. Production of the new cells will also reduce CO2 emissions by 60 percent through partial use of new materials and production of renewable energy at the plant.
Preparing Plant Spartanburg For More EVs
The other $1 billion of the announced investment will go to the Plant Spartanburg facility, that currently manufactures eleven different vehicles including two plug-in hybrid vehicles,the BMW X3 xDrive30e and BMW X5 xDrive45e, with almost 70,000 EVs built in 2021.
Production at Plant Spartanburg of the hybrid-electric BMW XM begins later in 2022. The plant also manufactures lithium-ion battery modules for the X3 xDrive30e and X5 xDrive45e.
“With this latest investment, we futureproof our operations and prepare the plant for electrification and new technologies, ensuring both the long-term success of our company and our position as an attractive and viable employer in the state of South Carolina," says Robert Engelhorn, President and CEO at BMW Manufacturing Co.
BMW Group plans to build up to six different fully-electric vehicles in the U.S. by 2030.