BMW plans to invest $1.7 billion to build at least six EV models in the U.S. by the end of the decade.
The investment announced Wednesday includes $1 billion toward BMW’s factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina and $700 million to fund a new battery cell plant nearby.
The factory, which builds BMW’s portfolio of X utility vehicles as well as lithium-ion battery modules for two plug-in hybrid electric models, will be “a major driver” for BMW’s electrification strategy, Oliver Zipse, BMW Group Chairman of the Board of Management, said in a statement.
A new battery plant operated by Chinese supplier Envision Automotive Energy Supply Corporation will supply the factory with round lithium-ion battery cells developed for the sixth generation of BMW eDrive technology and the automaker’s next-generation EVs. The new battery format will increase energy density by more than 20%, and improve charging speed and boost range by up to 30%, according to BMW.
Like other automakers, BMW is experimenting with alternate battery chemistries and powertrains, teaming up with Toyota to produce hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as soon as 2025.