BMW just announced a partnership with Envision AESC to build battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in South Carolina. Of the $1,700,000,000 total investment, BMW has contributed $1,000,000,000 to ready Plant Spartanburg for the production influx of new BEVs. BMW Group Chairman of the Board of Management Oliver Zipse says, “For decades, Plant Spartanburg has been a cornerstone of the global success of the BMW Group. It is the home of the BMW X models that are so popular all over the world. Going forward, it will also be a major driver for our electrification strategy, and we will produce at least six fully electric BMW X models here by 2030. That means: The ‘Home of the X’ is also becoming the ‘Home of the Battery Electric Vehicle.’”
Partner Envision AESC makes up the balance of the large investment, with $700,000,000 for a new battery-cell manufacturing plant in nearby Woodruff, South Carolina. Zipse adds, “In addition, we can showcase BMW Group’s ‘local for local’ principle: Our newly developed sixth generation battery cells, which were specifically designed for the next generation electric vehicles, will be sourced here in South Carolina—where X goes electric.”
Plant Spartanburg has been producing BMWs for the past 28 years, and just celebrated its 6,000,000th vehicle produced. In addition to being known for rolling out BMWs X models, four M models and two plug-in hybrid models are manufactured at Plant Spartanburg. Don’t forget that the recently debuted hybrid-electric XM will start being produced there later this year as well.
President and CEO of BMW Manufacturing Robert Engelhorn says, “This is a very important step for Plant Spartanburg as we continue our legacy of producing high-quality vehicles, and build on the success of the last 30 years. With this latest investment, we futureproof our operations and prepare the plant for electrification and new technologies, ensuring both the long-term success of our company and our position as an attractive and viable employer in the state of South Carolina.”
If you’re ever in the area and would like to see what goes on at Plant Spartanburg, book a plant tour and check out the Zentrum museum. The BMW CCA Foundation’s Ultimate Driving Museum is across the street, and BMW CCA headquarters is right down the road, so make sure to stop by for a visit!—Mike Bevels
[Photos by Mike Bevels.]