BMW now also intends to locate a high-voltage battery production facility in its planned production plant in Debrecen, Hungary. This will increase the investment to more than 2 billion euros – previously there was talk of just over one billion euros.
The batteries that BMW wants to build in Debrecen are intended for the vehicles of the Neue Klasse – BMW’s planned future platform for e-cars, which is to go into series production from 2025. The high-voltage battery production will be built on the site of the BWM vehicle plant in Debrecen, which the carmaker started building about half a year ago. According to BMW, it will be the most modern car plant in the world; the company coined the term iFactory for it. BMW plans to use the latest technologies and industry standards in the IFactory. “The BMW iFactory also stands for short distances in logistics,” explained Markus Fallböhmer, head of battery production at the Bavarian carmaker. “The close connection of battery production to vehicle production is part of our strategy.”
The high-voltage battery production facility planned for the iFactory site will occupy an area of more than 140,000 square metres and create 400 jobs. BMW will use next-generation battery cells there – the company plans to use round cells supplied by Chinese manufacturers CATL and Eve Energy. They will be installed in a metal frame that will be integrated into the underbody of the vehicle. This generation of batteries is said to be up to 50% cheaper than previous batteries. At the same time, according to BMW, this battery generation will allow charging speed to be increased by up to 30% and capacity to be increased by 30% as well. At the same time, BMW intends to use a higher proportion of cobalt, lithium and nickel obtained from recycled batteries. All HV batteries for the vehicles built at the Debrecen plant will also be assembled locally, according to BMW’s plans. The start of battery production at the site is to take place in parallel with the start of vehicle production.