The new 10,000 square meters facility in Leipzig will start production in mid-2021, joining Dingolfing, as well as Spartanburg, U.S. and Shenyang, China.
By 2022, the company intends to invest more than €100 million ($117 million), creating over 150 new jobs.
The new investment is a direct response to the anticipated growth of electric vehicle sales. In the case of BMW, it's expected that by 2025 one in three new BMWs will be a plug-in.
BMW Group does not produce its own battery cells. Those are supplied by external manufacturers like Samsung SDI or CATL. Then, BMW tests the cells, and assembles them into larger units - modules - in a highly automated process.
"The BMW Group procures the battery cells from partners who produce them according to the BMW Group’s precise specifications. The BMW Group uses different battery cells, depending on which one provides the best characteristics for the relevant vehicle concept."
The next step is to assembly the battery packs and mount them into an aluminum casing, together with the vehicle connectors, control units and cooling units. The size and shape of the packs depend on a particular vehicle
"This combination of standardized battery modules and casings flexibly adapted to the vehicle has several advantages: Firstly, it ensures uniform properties and quality standards in the production of the high-voltage batteries. Secondly, the modular design of the high-voltage battery serves as the basis for a wide range of e-drive variants. Last but not least, this modular approach is a crucial prerequisite for being able to respond quickly to customer demand and take advantage of cost savings."