eDrive Production for the fully-electric BMW iX and BMW i4 begins.

  • BMW Group expands manufacturing capacity at the Competence Center for eDrive Production in Dingolfing
  • E-drivetrains for 500,000 electrified vehicles per year from 2022.
  • Extensive in-house drivetrain expertise: Start of production for fifth-generation high-voltage batteries in Germany
  • Successful transformation to e-drivetrain production

Dingolfing, Germany – May 26, 2021…Production of fifth-generation high-voltage batteries and battery modules for use in the BMW iX and BMW i4 is now underway at the Competence Center for eDrive Production in Dingolfing. At the same time, the company is also increasing production capacity for its fifth-generation electric motor, which has been built in Dingolfing since 2020 and power the BMW iX and BMW i4. “We expect at least 50 percent of the vehicles we deliver to our customers worldwide to be electrified by 2030. To achieve this, we are relying on our extensive in-house drive train expertise: We are increasing capacity at existing drive train production locations – like here in Dingolfing – and developing capabilities at others – like recently in Regensburg and Leipzig,” explained Dr Michael Nikolaides, Senior Vice President, Production Engines and eDrives, BMW Group.  
 
The BMW Group is investing more than 500 million euros in expanding production capacity for eDrives at its Dingolfing location alone between 2020 and 2022. From 2022, it will produce e-drives for more than half a million electrified vehicles. The BMW Group will invest a total of around 790 million euros in expanding capacity for electric powertrain components at its Dingolfing, Leipzig, Regensburg and Steyr lo-cations between 2020 and 2022.
 
Standard production of the BMW iX will soon get underway at BMW Group Plant Dingolfing, followed by production of the BMW i4 at Plant Munich in the Fall. The highly integrated eDrives and high-voltage batteries for these vehicles will all be manufactured at the Competence Center for eDrive Production in Dingolfing. The BMW Group already began producing battery components at Plants Regensburg and Leipzig in April and May of 2021. In line with growing demand for e-drives, BMW Group Plants Landshut and Steyr are also stepping up production of eDrive housings.
 
Production of fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology
 
The output and energy content of drive units and high-voltage batteries with fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology can be flexibly scaled. This means they can be optimally adjusted to suit different model variants.
 
Each vehicle uses up to two highly integrated eDrives, which combine the electric motor, power electronics and transmission in a single housing. Based on the design principle of a current-excited rotor, the fifth generation eDrive does not require any materials classified as rare-earth metals.
 
BMW eDrive technology also comprises a high-voltage battery with state-of-the-art battery cell technology. The BMW Group agreed with its suppliers that they will only use renewable green power for producing fifth-generation battery cells. The entire high-voltage battery boasts outstanding qualities in the areas of performance, charging and discharging characteristics, durability and safety. The technically standardized production process for battery modules has been further developed in such a way that different module variants can be produced on the same production line – in line with the growing range of electrified vehicle models and performance levels. The production systems are highly flexible and scalable. Battery modules are produced from supplied prismatic battery cells at the respective BMW Group production location. A modular system developed in-house allows model-specific high-voltage batteries to be manufactured from these modules in a flexible arrangement.
 
The company has outstanding expertise and experience, both in the field of battery cell technology and in production of model-specific high-voltage batteries. The BMW Group conducts basic research in the fields of cell chemistry and cell design at its own Battery Cell Competence Center. The BMW Group also produces battery cell prototypes itself. These battery cell prototypes are used in tests to validate the development maturity of battery cells and to demonstrate the effectiveness of the production processes. In addition, the prototype production of the battery cells serves the identification of process potentials as well as the optimization of the pro-duction processes. In this way, the BMW Group gains a thorough understanding of the entire battery cell value chain and the decisive competitive advantages its chemical and technical properties offer. This enables battery cells to be manufactured to precise specifications that are geared towards each vehicle’s individual requirements. 
 
Competence Center for eDrive Production
 
Following extensive expansion, the Competence Center for eDrive Production now provides a usable area of 125,000 square meters (1.345 million square feet). This is where the company manufactures electric motors and the components needed for them, as well as high-voltage batteries and battery modules. A paint coating is also applied to the battery cells at this location. The coating increases mechanical robustness and thermal conductivity, thereby improving insulation and cooling of the even more powerful fifth-generation battery cells.
 
Plant Dingolfing has been manufacturing standard high-voltage batteries and battery modules since 2013, when the BMW Group's first all-electric vehicle, the BMW i3, went into production. The first production lines for electric motors and high-voltage batteries for plug-in hybrids went on-stream there in 2014. The Competence Center for eDrive Production has been steadily growing ever since. The plant has also been producing high-voltage batteries for the fully electric MINI Cooper SE since 2019 and, since 2020. Production of the even more powerful high-voltage batteries for the BMW iX and BMW i4 is now getting underway. eDrives for future models can also be produced on the flexible production lines.
 
Qualification for long-term, sustainable jobs
 
With the BMW Group systematically pursuing progress in electromobility, the demands on employees and their areas of responsibility are also constantly evolving. “We are growing our staff for eDrive production almost exclusively through personnel restructuring. We are actively shaping the transformation process and leveraging our employees’ skills so we can develop long-term sustainable jobs,” explains Nikolaides.
 
The Competence Center for eDrive Production in Dingolfing currently has almost 1,400 employees. By the end of 2021, around 1,900 employees are expected to work in eDrive production in Dingolfing.
 
Production employees receive further training at the in-house learning center, which uses innovative vocational training and further education methods to provide employees with intensive preparation for their new tasks. Employees’ knowledge and skills are being expanded specifically to include new electromobility technologies, with a training concept that is constantly updated. The training sessions are held in the classroom, at practice workstations and directly on the production lines. Digital methods and augmented reality play a bigger role here than ever before. Thanks to these methods, the training courses were also able to continue safely during the coronavirus pandemic, in compliance with health and safety measures.  “The learning center takes a holistic approach that supports employees throughout their professional development and further education, from their first day in production,” reports Dr Sven Jochmann, Head of Production eDrives Dingolfing, Landshut, Regensburg, Leipzig. “As well as trainers and managers, new colleagues are also supported by trained mentors who help them quickly find their way around their new working environment,” adds Jochmann. 
 
Transformation of the Dingolfing location
 
The Dingolfing location is a prime example of the successful transformation of the BMW Group plants towards e-mobility and digitalization. eDrive production, including electric motors and high-voltage batteries, is located in an existing, roughly 50-year-old building at the site, rather than using new space. The infrastructure was adapted to the new requirements and expanded accordingly. A modern staff restaurant seats 300 and there is also a new parking deck with space for 800 vehicles. The structural measures are rounded out by a 25,000 square meters (269,000 square feet) logistics hall, new office spaces and social rooms close to the production area, as well as an additional plant gate in the south for improved logistics flows. 
 
On the issue of sustainability, the BMW Group takes a holistic approach to reducing CO2 emissions and minimizing resource consumption that covers the entire value chain, including in-house production, the supply chain and use phase. In Dingolfing, as at all BMW Group locations, production uses only green power. In addition, all BMW Group locations have been net carbon neutral since this year, through corresponding offsets and certificates. The company is also using many other levers: from building technology to energy-efficient installations to increased use of renew-able energies. Electric trucks will be used for intra-company goods transport at the Competence Center for eDrive Production from the autumn.
 
2030: At least 50 percent of global BMW Group sales will be fully electric
 
Between now and 2025, the BMW Group will increase its sales of fully-electric models by an average of well over 50 percent per year – more than ten times the number of units sold in 2020. Based on its current market forecast, the company also expects at least 50 percent of its global sales to come from fully-electric vehicles in 2030. In total, over the next ten years or so, the BMW Group will be releasing about ten million fully-electric vehicles onto the roads.
 
Global eDrive production network with a focus in Germany
 
The high-voltage batteries and battery components needed for all BMW and MINI electrified vehicles come from the company’s own battery factories in Dingolfing,
Leipzig and Regensburg in Germany, as well as from Spartanburg (USA) and Shen-yang (China). The BMW Group has also localized production of high-voltage batteries in Thailand, at its Rayong plant, and is working with the Dräxlmaier Group for this. Munich is home to the eDrive pilot plant and the Battery Cell Competence Center, where the BMW Group is conducting a full analysis of battery cell value creation processes and advancing technology for its production processes. The company produces electric motors at the Competence Center for eDrive Production in Dingolfing and at BMW Group Plant Landshut. BMW Group Plant Steyr builds the housing for the highly integrated fifth-generation eDrive. 


 
BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975.  Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003.  The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars; Designworks, a strategic design consultancy based in California;  a technology office in Silicon Valley, and various other operations throughout the country.  BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is the BMW Group global center of competence for BMW X models and manufactures the X3, X4, X5, X6 and X7 Sports Activity Vehicles. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 350 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 144 BMW motorcycle retailers, 112 MINI passenger car dealers, and 38 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers.  BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

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