BMW Group has announced it’s investing €800 million ($A1.2 billion) in its Mexican production site in San Luis Potosí to prepare for Neue Klasse-based electric vehicles (EVs).
Production of EVs on BMW’s upcoming, modular Neue Klasse architecture will begin in 2025 at its plant in Debrecen, Hungary. It will be followed by production at its main plant in Munich, Germany.
This latest investment in Mexican production shows BMW will be producing Neue Klasse-based EVs in Mexico too. At this stage it indicates Neue Klasse-based EV production will start in 2027.
BMW claims only “minor adjustments” are required in the body shop and assembly to incorporate the new architecture. This is partially because the high-voltage battery is directly integrated into the vehicle structure.
The company claims this €800 million ($A1.2 billion) investment will require an additional 1000 employees to be working at the San Luis Potosí plant.
€500 million ($A779 million) of the total investment is earmarked for construction of a new 85,000 square metre assembly centre for high-voltage batteries, which will be located on the plant grounds.
As previously reported, BMW’s upcoming Neue Klasse platform is set to debut in 2025 on a 3 Series-sized vehicle, which will be pitted against the Tesla Model 3. An X3-sized electric SUV is understood to be the second vehicle.
The company recently showed off its i Vision Dee concept which previews the design and technology its Neue Klasse-based EVs will have.
BMW has previously said its range of Neue Klasse vehicles will be fitted with new cylindrical lithium-ion battery cells from around 2025.
Compared to its current battery technology, this cylinder cell technology is claimed to improve energy density by more than 20 per cent, charging speed by up to 30 per cent, and range by 30 per cent.
The company is also developing solid-state batteries and aims to have high-voltage batteries of this type ready for series introduction by the end of the decade.
BMW plans to reveal a vehicle fitted with this battery technology before 2025, however.
Unlike some other carmakers, BMW has yet to make any announcements about when it will end development and production of internal-combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.
The carmaker’s latest plan calls for it to produce a total of two million all-electric cars by 2025. By 2030, the company expects half of its annual global sales to be be EVs.
BMW has also set a goal of achieving full carbon neutrality across the entire supply chain by no later than 2050.