BMW announced today that it will invest a further €1 billion ($1.04 billion USD at current exchange rates) in its Hungarian iFactory to add a high-voltage battery assembly facility for Neue Klasse vehicles.
The facility will be located in Debrecen, Hungary, on the site of the iFactory, on which construction started in June 2022. BMW says that, with this, it will have invested a total of €2 billion ($2.08 billion USD) in the new complex that will be completed at the end of 2025.
“In Debrecen, we are building the most advanced plant in the world,” said Milan Nedeljković, BMW’s head of production. “With our iFACTORY, we are setting new industry standards for vehicle production. Our investments underline our systematic approach to implementing e-mobility.”
More: BMW Announces New €1 Billion Production Facility In Hungary
BMW will need 500 employees to run the new battery assembly facility. Vehicles leaving the Hungarian plant will be equipped with battery packs that use BMW’s next-generation round battery cells.
BMW claims that these batteries will allow its vehicles to go 30 percent farther per charge and will increase charging speeds by 30 percent. The cells will be assembled into a battery housing that is made up of a metal frame that will eventually be integrated into the under body of Neue Klasse vehicles.
Thanks to this facility, the battery packs for all vehicles leaving the plant will be assembled onsite. According to Markus Fallböhmer, BMW’s senior VP of battery production, that’s an important factor in making the iFactory efficient.
“The BMW iFACTORY is also about ensuring short distances for logistics,” he explains. “The close link between battery assembly and vehicle production is part of our strategy.”
In addition, BMW says it will use as many recycled materials as possible to make up its new batteries. Ultimately, it hopes to reduce the carbon footprint of battery cell production by 60 percent. BMW has said that the first Neue Klasse vehicles will be a compact sedan and a sporty SUV.