BMW opens second battery module line in Leipzig
At the BMW plant in Leipzig, the second production line for battery modules has started series production. The new production line manufactures battery modules for the all-electric BMW i4, which is being built at the Munich plant.
The first production line in Leipzig had opened in May 2021, supplying battery modules for the BMW iX. The first battery assembly line was built on the former production areas of the i8 hybrid sports car. The inauguration of a second production line in 2022 was already announced around the time of the first line’s commissioning. BMW does not specify where the battery modules for the i4 were previously assembled in the announcement.
The second assembly line has now been built on the space in Leipzig that became available after production of the i3 ended. The components pass through a total of 196 stations before the battery module is ready for transport to Munich. The purchased cells are first subjected to plasma cleaning and then painted to “ensure optimal insulation”, according to BMW. The painted cells are then assembled into modules.
The finished battery modules are then mounted in an aluminium housing together with the connections to the vehicle, control units and cooling units. “The size and shape of the housing and the number of battery modules used differ depending on the vehicle variant,” BMW writes. Even within the i4, modules of different sizes are known to be installed – the modules in the underbody differ from those installed under the rear seats and in the gimbal tunnel.
BMW says it has invested around 70 million euros in the new production line. The carmaker has created around 250 jobs for the assembly of the i4 battery modules, while the Leipzig plant employs more than 700 people in the entire area of EV component production, according to the statement.
“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 electric drive production at the BMW Group. The continuous expansion of EV component production contributes to the BMW Group’s goal of achieving at least half of its sales with fully electric vehicles by 2030.
For this reason, the electric drive production area at the Leipzig plant is to be further expanded and made more flexible as early as next year, BMW said. Details on the next expansion stages are not yet given, but more jobs are to be created. After module assembly for the iX and i4, the Leipzig plant will probably also produce the modules for the next generation of the Mini Countryman, which will also roll off the production line as a BEV in Leipzig from 2023. The announcement does not mention the BMW iX1, which will also be built in Leipzig as a sister model of the Countryman.