BMW Expands Battery Production, Tells Us About The Process

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BMW recently announced the start of production at Plant Leipzig’s second battery module facility. The new system produces modules for the all-electric BMW i4, which is produced in Munich. In May 2021, Plant Leipzig began operating its first such manufacturing line, which supplies battery modules for the BMW iX models.

“Today’s launch of Leipzig’s second battery module production line makes an important contribution to delivering the battery components needed to make a growing number of electrified vehicles,” said Markus Fallböhmer, Head of Engine and E-Drive Production at the BMW Group.

The BMW Group’s goal for 2030, when fully electric vehicles will account for at least half of sales, is being achieved through the gradual increase in e-component production.

Plant Leipzig’s second battery module production system is located in an area of about 4,250 square meters, and it employs formerly BMW i production spaces that are now idle after the BMW i3 was phased out on June 30. Before being completed and ready for further processing, each battery module goes through a total of 196 production stations.

“Plant Leipzig remains electrified,” said a delighted Petra Peterhänsel, Plant Director. “Now that BMW i3 production has wound down, we can use the skills and experience of our employees elsewhere and offer them secure jobs for the long term,” she commented, adding that this would keep the plant relevant into the future.

With the rise of electric vehicles, Leipzig’s e-drive production will expand even more and adaptable as soon as next year, with subsequent phases of the expansion plan creating additional new employment. The following stage in the MINI Countryman’s evolution will be mass production beginning in 2023. An all-electric drive will also be available on a crossover model.

BMW Tells Us More About Its Battery Pack Production Process

There are two big steps to battery production in BMW plants: module production and high-voltage battery assembly.

The modules are produced in a highly automated process, with the first step being plasma cleaning of the individual battery cells. A precisely developed system then covers them to assure maximum insulation. They are subsequently combined to form bigger units known as modules. The BMW Group obtains its battery cells from third-party manufacturers which make them to the company’s exacting standards.

The batteries’ modules are then inserted into an aluminum casing, along with the connections and the control and cooling units. The size and form of the housing and the number of battery modules employed varies based on the car model. As a result, each high-voltage battery may be perfectly positioned to power a specific vehicle.

The BMW Group’s worldwide production network is being utilized to meet rising demand for e-drive component production capacity. At its own battery facilities in Dingolfing, Leipzig and Regensburg in Germany, as well as Spartanburg (US) and Shenyang (China), the firm makes high-voltage batteries and battery components for the full range of electrified BMW and MINI cars.

The facility in Rayong, Thailand, produces high-voltage batteries. The BMW Group has an e-drive pilot plant and a Battery Cell Competence Center in Munich where battery cell value creation processes are examined in detail and production technology development is researched. A Cell Manufacturing Competence Center for the BMW Group will soon open near Munich.

So, like anything else automotive, supply chains are complex and global, but in the end, a single product comes together for drivers to use and hopefully enjoy for years.

Image courtesy of BMW

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Jennifer Sensiba

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to get off the beaten path in her "Bolt EAV" and any other EVs she can get behind the wheel or handlebars of with her wife and kids. You can find her on Twitter here, Facebook here, and YouTube here.

Jennifer Sensiba has 1983 posts and counting. See all posts by Jennifer Sensiba