Groundbreaking on new BMW Group high-voltage battery assembly plant in South Carolina

The BMW Group broke ground for a new high-voltage battery assembly plant in Woodruff, South Carolina. The BMW Group Plant Woodruff will produce sixth-generation batteries to supply fully electric vehicles at nearby BMW Manufacturing in Spartanburg. More than 300 jobs will be created onsite at Plant Woodruff with the opportunity to grow.

In October 2022, BMW Group announced a new $1.7 billion investment in its U.S. operations, including $1 billion to prepare Plant Spartanburg for the production of fully electric vehicles and $700 million to build a new high-voltage battery assembly plant. The Woodruff facility will be about 100 acres in size that includes construction of a technology building and support buildings such as a cafeteria, fire department, and energy center.

“We are working consistently to advance the transformation to electromobility. Cutting-edge production facilities for top-performance high-voltage batteries are a decisive factor in this. Close connection of battery production with vehicle production is part of our strategy”, states Markus Fallböhmer, Senior Vice President of Battery Production at BMW AG

As part of the BMW Group’s “local for local” approach, the company will purchase battery cells for its electric vehicles from partner AESC, which is building a new 30 GWh battery cell factory in Florence, South Carolina. They will produce newly developed round lithium-ion battery cells, specifically designed for the sixth generation of BMW eDrive technology. The new battery format will increase energy density by more than 20% and improve charging speed and range by up to 30%.

The BMW Group is particularly focused on keeping the carbon footprint and consumption of resources for production as low as possible, starting in the supply chain. Cell manufacturers will use cobalt, lithium and nickel that include a percentage of secondary material, i.e. raw materials that are not newly mined, but already in the loop, in production of battery cells. Combined with the commitment to use only green power from renewable energies for production of battery cells, the BMW Group will reduce the carbon footprint of battery cell production by up to 60%.

As the next BMW iFACTORY, BMW Group Plant Woodruff will also meet high ecological standards. The site will be operated without fossil fuels and will use 100% green electricity. The BMW Group has set itself the goal of reducing CO2 emissions in its global production network by 80% by 2030 compared to 2019.

Plant roofs are being prepared for the installation of photovoltaic systems. Intelligent LED lighting with motion detectors and an efficient dimming strategy reduce energy consumption and light emissions to a minimum. The high-voltage battery assembly basically requires no water. Rainwater is collected and used for purposes outside production. An innovative technology that involves injecting captured CO2 into the fresh concrete during the mixing process will be used in the construction of the plant. This sequesters CO2 permanently at a molecular level and increases the strength of the concrete.

Since 1992, the BMW Group has invested about $12.4 billion in its South Carolina operations. BMW Manufacturing is the largest BMW Group plant in the world, producing more than 1,500 vehicles each day. In 2022, approximately 60% of BMW vehicles sold in the US came from Plant Spartanburg. The factory has an annual production capacity of up to 450,000 vehicles and employs more than 11,000 people.

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