BMW, through its BMW-Brilliance Automotive joint venture, has launched its third battery pack manufacturing facility - this time in Shenyang, China. The two other facilities are in Germany (Dingolfing) and the U.S. (Spartanburg).

Battery cells combined into a BMW battery module

Battery cells combined into a BMW battery module

In this case, the facility will produce batteries for the plug-in hybrid BMW 5-series for the local market, and also further models produced at the nearby Dadong plant.

BMW underlines that its in-house production gives a decisive competitive advantage, by securing know-how in new technologies, gaining key systems expertise, and leveraging cost benefits.

"The BMW Group continues to expand its electro-mobility activities. In conjunction with its partner, Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd., the BMW Group opened a new “High-Voltage Battery Centre” in Shenyang, China today."

Oliver Zipse, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Production:

“The innovative High-Voltage Battery Centre in Shenyang is an important step in the BMW Group’s electro-mobility strategy. It is the first battery factory of any premium automotive manufacturer in China and already the third in our production network, after Germany and the US.”

“By 2025, we expect our electrified BMW and MINI models to account for between 15 and 25 per cent of global sales. This adds up to several hundred thousand vehicles per year. It therefore makes sense for us to integrate electro-mobility into the existing production system.”

Here is more about the production process:

From cell to high-voltage battery

Battery Cells on the highly Automated Module Assembly Line - BMW

Battery Cells on the highly Automated Module Assembly Line - BMW

Production of high-voltage batteries is divided into two production stages. First, in a highly-automated process, supplied lithium-ion cells, which are about the size of a paperback book, are checked and then combined into a larger unit, the so-called battery module.

The battery modules are then mounted together with the connections, control units and cooling units in an aluminium housing. The size and shape of the aluminium housing, as well as the number of battery modules used, depends on the vehicle variant. In this way, a perfectly adapted "battery pack" or high-voltage battery is created.

This combination of standardised battery modules and housings flexibly adapted to the vehicle has several advantages: It ensures uniform properties and quality standards in the production of high-voltage batteries. The modular design of the high-voltage batteries also forms the basis for a wide variety of electric drive variants. Last but not least, this modular concept is a requirement for responding quickly to customer demand and leveraging cost benefits.

BMW Group leading manufacturer of electrified vehicles worldwide

End of Line Testing of the High Voltage Battery - BMW

End of Line Testing of the High Voltage Battery - BMW

Between January and the end of September, the BMW Group delivered a total of 68.687 BMW i, BMW iPerformance and electrified MINI vehicles to customers worldwide – an increase of 64,2%. With nine electrified cars currently available, the BMW Group is one of the leading suppliers worldwide. The company plans to sell 100,000 electrified vehicles worldwide by the end of the year.

The Shenyang production facility

The Shenyang location, with its Dadong and Tiexi automotive plants and engine plant with light-metal foundry, plays an important role in the BMW Group’s global production network. It contributes to the strategy of globally balanced growth, with production capacity in the respective regional markets.

The BBA production location in Shenyang builds vehicles exclusively for the Chinese market. The Dadong plant in the northeast of the city opened in 2003 and currently produces the BMW 5 Series Long-Wheelbase Version. Going forward, this facility will also build the plug-in hybrid variant of the BMW 5 Series and the new BMW X3. The Tiexi plant in the west of Shenyang, which went on-stream in 2012, builds the BMW X1 Long-Wheelbase Version (including a plug-in hybrid variant), the BMW 1 Series Sedan, the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, the BMW 3 Series Long-Wheelbase Version and the BMW 3 Series Sedan. The engine plant, which opened in 2016, produces the latest generation of the BMW TwinPower Turbo three and four-cylinder petrol engines.

The BMW Brilliance Automotive Joint Venture

The BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture was founded in 2003 and encompasses production and sales of BMW automobiles in China, as well as local development tasks. The joint venture employs more than 16,000 people, while the BBA supplier network comprises around 350 local suppliers.

In 2014, the BMW Group and Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd. extended the contract for their Chinese joint venture early – four years before the current contract expired – and laid the foundation for deepening the successful cooperation. The extended contract is valid for ten years (from 2018 to 2028).

Assembly of High Voltage Battery - BMW

Assembly of High Voltage Battery - BMW

The All New BMW 530 Le iPerformance High Voltage Battery Pack

The All New BMW 530 Le iPerformance High Voltage Battery Pack