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BMW Invests $1.7 Billion to Build EVs, Batteries in the US

Envision AESC will supply the automaker with the cells it needs for EV assembly.

BMW's headquarters in Spartanburg, South Carolina
BMW hopes to build six different EV models in South Carolina by 2030.

The new tax credit structure for electric-vehicle purchases, introduced in the Inflation Reduction Act in August, places a big emphasis on manufacturing in the US -- and not just the cars themselves, but the batteries that power them. To that end, BMW just announced a major investment that seeks to bring the EV assembly process as close together as possible.

The German company this week announced a $1.7 billion investment in US electric vehicle manufacturing. Of that total, $1 billion will be dedicated to EV production at its existing US assembly facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina, which will get the upgrades it needs to build a whole lot of EVs. BMW hopes to build six fully electric BMW models in the US by 2030. The remaining $700 million will go toward building a new high-voltage battery assembly facility in nearby Woodruff.

You can't build a battery without the cells that comprise it, but BMW has that covered, too. The automaker announced a partnership with Envision AESC, which will build a cell factory in South Carolina, as well, which will supply the automaker with the parts it needs for future EVs. BMW said in a press release that the plant's annual capacity will be around 30 gigawatt-hours. This is in addition to four other battery factories that will be built in Europe and China, to supply vehicles built for those markets.

Envision AESC's round lithium-ion cells are said to bring some big benefits to the next generation of BMW EVs. The automaker claims this new battery format will "increase energy density by more than 20%, improve charging speed by up to 30% and enhance range by up to 30%." The new cell should also lower overall emissions in part by relying on reused cobalt, lithium and nickel.

BMW will be using round battery cells in vehicles operating on its upcoming Neue Klasse platform. While details are still scant, we know this platform will begin underpinning production vehicles in 2025, starting with a compact sedan and an SUV. The automaker hopes to have EVs representing 50% of its overall sales by 2030.

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