BMW Group has announced a $1.7 billion investment in the United States. The funds will be used to construct a new battery cell factory and to prepare the automaker’s South Carolina plant to produce electric vehicles.
A $1 billion investment will be made in the company’s Spartanburg facility, which is expected to produce six electric vehicle models by 2030. The remaining $700 million will be used to construct a new battery plant in nearby Woodruff, South Carolina, which will cover 1 million square feet and employ 300 people.
The battery factory will produce the automaker’s new round lithium-ion battery cells which are said to have 30 percent more range while reducing prices by up to 50 percent. They are also 20 percent denser and could improve charge times by 30 percent. Producing them will reduce CO2 emissions by up to 60 percent due to using recycled material and renewable energy sources. The new plant will have an annual capacity of up to 30 gigawatt-hours.
The Spartanburg plant currently manufactures battery modules for the BMW X3 and X4 plug-in hybrids. BMW produced nearly 70,000 electrified vehicles at the plant last year.
In the future, BMW announced the construction of four additional battery cell factories in Europe and China, each with an annual capacity of 20 GWh.