BMW: Battery test centre in Wackersdorf opens in 2024
BMW is building a battery test centre for the company’s high-voltage components at its Wackersdorf plant in Bavaria, Germany. The manufacturer unveiled plans for the new centre at the beginning of this year. Now, BMW has released additional information, including that it intends to pour around 100 million euros into the facility over the next three years. The investments will primarily fund test bench technology and be used to upgrade existing building infrastructure necessary for its operation.
With this in mind, BMW is converting Hall 80 on the plant site. Construction work is currently underway. The first section is scheduled to go into operation in mid-2024. “From then on, across a total area spanning 8,442 m2, high-voltage batteries and other electric powertrain components for future BMW Group models will be put through their paces very early in development – well before the start of production,” the carmaker writes, adding that “in the final phase from 2025 onwards, the testing centre will also be used to validate the BMW Group’s battery-electric vehicles prior to the official launch of series production and ensure the required premium quality.”
The battery test centre is part of a larger realignment of the site: From 2024, doors for BMW subsidiary Rolls-Royce will also be manufactured there. These will then be installed in vehicles in England. The necessary preparations for the new body shop are scheduled for this year. Incidentally, door production is also connected to electric mobility. Wackersdorf will contribute the doors for the luxury brand’s first electric model, the Spectre.
With the Wackersdorf test centre, BMW is locating another battery facility in Bavaria. The “Battery Cell Competence Centre” with its own test rigs is situated in Munich, while the “Cell Manufacturing Competence Centre” (CMCC) is located in Parsdorf near Munich. BMW has so far distributed facilities among the existing vehicle plants to assemble the purchased battery cells into ready-to-install battery packs. And the carmaker will build a central battery assembly plant (probably for the New Class vehicles) in Irlbach near Straubing.
“The BMW Group’s Wackersdorf location is set to become a major facilitator for the transformation towards electromobility,” says site manager Christoph Peters. He adds that the new battery test centre will broaden the foundation of the BMW Group Wackersdorf site. “In addition to supplying our overseas plants, cockpit production and, from 2024, door production for Rolls-Royce models, this will become Wackersdorf’s fourth main area of activity. This, in turn, strengthens our location’s future viability.”