BMW has announced that it will invest 800 million euros ($863 million) into its new production location in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, following numerous other manufacturers rushing to America’s Southern neighbor.
Following the introduction of the Inflation Reduction Act, which requires EVs to be assembled in North America to qualify for federal incentives, foreign automakers have rushed to establish new factories on the continent. While many of these facilities have been placed in the U.S. and Canada, automakers like BMW have also been attracted to Mexico as a cheaper alternative.
BMW announced that it would be spending a combined 800 million euros ($863 million) on its San Luis Potosí, Mexico facility as it transitions to produce both “Nueu Klasse” EVs and the batteries inside of them. The German performance brand had only begun production at the location 3 years ago, and with this new investment, it will be vastly expanding the plant’s footprint and starting new production lines. Specifically, BMW will be spending 500 million euros ($539 million) on battery production of its new cylindrical cells, with the remaining investment going to EV production.
BMW currently has 3 EVs in its lineup in North America, the i4, i7, and iX, though the Mexican facility will not produce any of these models. BMW’s current EV models are built on the “Cluster Architecture,” which is shared between hybrids, PHEVs, and EVs. The vehicles the San Luis Potosí facility will produce will be based on “Nueu Klasse,” BMW’s first 100% EV platform.
The first Nueu Klasse vehicles are expected to be from the brand’s most popular models, the 3 Series and the 3 Series SUVs, and they are expected to hit the market in 2025. In the meantime, BMW will be introducing yet another Cluster-based EV, the BMW i5.
While not much is known about BMW’s upcoming Nueu Klasse vehicles, its batteries alone are undoubtedly worth the German company’s investment. BMW states that the batteries will be 20% more energy dense, capable of 30% better range, achieve 30% faster charging, and reduce production emissions by 60 percent.
Without context, these battery improvements obviously sound impressive but can be hard to grasp, but they are truly monumental. For instance, if the upcoming upgrades were applied to the current generation BMW i4, the sport sedan would achieve a range of 475 miles and charge at a rate of 266kW, all while emitting less CO2 in the process of manufacturing.
BMW is facing an increasingly competitive EV market and a significant challenge to switch its massive manufacturing capabilities over the next few years. While it remains unclear if it succeeds in its endeavor in the long term, BMW’s first offerings have proven quite popular and remain the star of BMW’s sales sheet each quarter. If anything, consumers should be excited for the upgrades and increased availability of the world’s favorite performance-luxury brand.
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