BMW is to spend quite half a billion euros on ramping up its electric vehicle manufacturing capacity in Germany because the Munich-based carmaker races to suits strict EU emission standards amid a pointy slowdown in global auto sales.
The company’s plant in Dingolfing, Bavaria, its largest in Europe, are going to be ready to produce battery-powered motors and parts for quite 500,000 vehicles a year by 2022, said Oliver Zipse, chairman of the board of management.
BMW, which was one among the first pioneers of battery-powered cars, previously said it had been on target to satisfy CO2 emissions targets for 2020 and 2021 despite the Covid-19 pandemic, avoiding large fines from Brussels.
The Dingolfing factory, which devotes 10 per cent of its production capacity to plug-in hybrid models, would be expanded tenfold, Mr Zipse added, so as to assist BMW to achieve its goal of getting 1 / 4 of its sales in Europe of models with an electrical drive option by 2021.
Four production lines would be added to the prevailing eight lines during the subsequent few years, the corporate said. Dingolfing also will expand its production of batteries, although BMW uses other companies for its supply of battery cells.
The premium carmaker has fallen behind rival Volkswagen in developing new battery-powered models, despite producing the i3, one among the primary mass-market electric cars since 2013.
Rather than building dedicated production sites for electric cars, BMW is instead choosing a versatile platform, during which models are often fitted with either a combustion engine, a plug-in hybrid system, or a battery-powered drivetrain.
The upcoming iX3 sport utility vehicle is going to be among the primary models to supply all three variants.
In contrast, VW is devoting entire plants to electric vehicles. Last month, the last combustion engine car rolled off an assembly line at VW’s Zwickau factory, the previous home of the Soviet-era Trabant. the location will now manufacture the ID. 3, VW’s first mass-market emissions-free model.
However, Mr Zipse defended BMW’s versatile approach. “We are firmly convinced that we’ll get to continue developing all drivetrain types to realize the simplest possible result for the environment,” he said.
“We know that a lot of regions around the world still lack sufficient charging infrastructure and only a little share of the generated energy is renewable,” he added. “For many purchasers in these regions, combustion engines remain the simplest option.”
BMW aims to supply a minimum of 13 fully electric models by 2023, the year VW plans to possess sold 1m emissions-free cars.
BMW warned in May that its profits might be exhausted in 2020, as demand plummeted as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.