BMW wants to build a battery factory 40 kilometers north of its largest European car plant in Dingolfing. The purchase agreement for a 105-hectare plot of land in the Lower Bavarian communities of Irlbach and Straßkirchen has been signed, a company spokeswoman said Thursday. This is an important step, she said, but the approval process is just beginning. Earlier, the “Passauer Neue Presse” had reported.
BMW plans to assemble the high-voltage batteries for its electric cars in the new factory using battery cells supplied by the company, which will then be installed in the vehicles at its auto plants in Dingolfing, Munich and Regensburg. Construction of the battery factory is scheduled to start in 2024. The plant alone is expected to create a good 1,000 jobs.
BMW is also building similar battery factories for e-cars in Debrecen, Hungary, near the U.S. plant in Spartanburg, in Mexico and in China. Because the batteries are large and heavy, automakers are trying to locate them as close as possible to car plants.
Irlbach and Straßkirchen are located on the A3 and A92 highways. Now that the land has been purchased, the urban land-use planning process is beginning. The two communities and the Straubing-Bogen district office are responsible for approval. BMW has invited the approximately 4,000 residents of the two communities to an on-site information event on March 3.
A citizens’ initiative “Lebenswerter Gäuboden” is campaigning to preserve the farmland in front of Straßkirchen and is collecting signatures against the plant. It would “impose a huge structural change on our village and the entire region,” complain the initiators.