BMW Group Plant Leipzig has announced the expansion of its E-component production with the first cell coating line going into series operation. By 2024 eight production lines are planned on which various production steps of battery assembly will take place. The two existing module assembly lines will be complemented by a third, as well as four more cell coating lines and two more high-voltage battery assembly lines. The four coating lines will enter series operation this year at roughly two-month intervals.
Covering 2,300 m2, the new cell coating system at the BMW plant in Leipzig is in the former production hall of the BMW i3, where production was phased out in the summer of last year. Straight afterwards the space was converted for e- component manufacturing in less than six months, and associates underwent the relevant training.
The new coating line can handle more than 10 million cells a year, or over 2,300 an hour. The coated cells are then used on the battery module production line in Leipzig, to make modules for the fully electric BMW i4 and BMW iX1. A further line at the facility is producing battery modules for the BMW iX.
“From 2024 our plant here in Leipzig will be able to run the entire process chain for high-voltage battery production,” said Markus Fallböhmer, head of Battery Production at the BMW Group. “So we will be making an important contribution to the transformation to electromobility.” To meet its goal of fully electric vehicles accounting for at least half of all sales by 2030, the BMW Group is investing more than €800 million to establish and develop e-component production at BMW Plant Leipzig.
The continued expansion of Plant Leipzig is very much driven by e-component production, which will take up some 150,000 m2 of manufacturing space in the future. “This is a long-term investment in the future of the Leipzig plant,” said Plant Director Petra Peterhänsel, adding that the expansion of the plant would not only safeguard current jobs but also create new ones. “At present, more than 800 employees work in e-component production at our Leipzig site. By 2024 there will be more than 1,000.”
The next great milestone for Plant Leipzig will be production of the MINI Countryman successor, which will roll off the production lines from the end of this year. The crossover will be available with a choice of combustion engines or a fully electric drive – powered by high-voltage batteries made in Leipzig.