BMW launches series battery modules production at Leipzig

by John Shepherd
Production of battery modules for high-voltage batteries at Leipzig. Photo: BMW
BMW said today it will launch series production of lithium-ion battery modules at its Leipzig plant in Germany starting Monday, 3 May.

Leipzig is BMW’s pioneer plant for electromobility and has been building the group’s first fully-electric vehicle, the BMW i3, since 2013. Now, the location will also produce electric drive train components.

Battery modules will be produced in the 10,000 sqm production area previously reserved for the BMW i8.

Meanwhile, the car maker said the first of four coating lines for fifth-generation high-voltage batteries went on stream at its Regensburg plant this month, occupying a production and logistics area of more than 40,000 sqm.

High-voltage batteries will also be produced in Regensburg from 2022.

Plasma cleaning
BMW said its battery modules are produced in a highly-automated process. The lithium-ion cells first undergo a plasma cleaning, before a specially developed system coats the cells to ensure optimal insulation. The company uses different battery cells from its supply partners, "depending on which provides the best properties for each vehicle concept”.

Michael Nikolaides, senior VP of production engines and e-drives, said: "We expect at least 50% of the vehicles we deliver to our customers worldwide to be fully electric by 2030 and we are systematically expanding our production network for electric drive trains in response to this.”

The company is investing more than €250m (£217m) in its Regensburg and Leipzig locations alone to supply the group’s growing number of electrified vehicles with high-voltage batteries.

BMW is now producing high-voltage batteries and battery components at three locations in Germany alone – Dingolfing, Leipzig and Regensburg.

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