Work begins on $700M BMW Manufacturing battery plant in Woodruff

Work begins on $700M BMW Manufacturing battery plant in Woodruff

October 11, 2023 | SC News Biz

Construction of BMW’s high-voltage battery assembly plant in Woodruff is underway.

BMW management joined representatives from the city of Woodruff, Spartanburg County, and Evans Construction recently for a ceremonial beam signing celebrating the first steel to be erected at the site, according to a BMW news release. After the signing, workers immediately installed the first beam and started construction of the state-of-the-art facility.

“Today, we literally begin to build our legacy as we start the construction of Plant Woodruff,” said Robert Engelhorn, president and CEO of BMW Manufacturing, in the release. “This BMW plant will play an important role for the future of electric mobility at Plant Spartanburg and in the United States.”

The BMW Group announced one year ago that it would invest $1.7 billion in its U.S. operations, including $1 billion to prepare the Spartanburg plant for the production of fully electric vehicles and $700 million to build a new high-voltage battery assembly plant in Woodruff. By 2030, the BMW Group will build at least six fully electric models in the U.S.

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When completed in 2026, Plant Woodruff will produce the sixth-generation batteries to supply fully electric vehicles at nearby BMW Manufacturing. The Woodruff facility, located on 315 acres near the city, will be more than one million square feet in size and includes construction of a technology building and support buildings such as a cafeteria, fire department, and energy center.  It will be state-of-the-art in terms of sustainability, flexibility, and digitalization. More than 300 jobs will be created onsite with the opportunity to grow.

As part of the BMW Group’s “local for local” approach, the company will purchase battery cells for its electric vehicles from partner AESC, which is building a new 30 GWh battery cell factory in Florence, with BMW as its first customer. AESC broke ground for its new plant on June 7, the release stated. They will produce newly developed round lithium-ion battery cells, specifically designed for the sixth generation of BMW eDrive technology. Battery cells produced at the AESC facility in Florence will be shipped to Plant Woodruff, where the cells will be used to manufacture batteries for fully electric BMW X models at Plant Spartanburg.

Since 1992, the BMW Group has invested nearly $12.4 billion in its South Carolina operations, according to the release. BMW Manufacturing is the largest BMW Group plant in the world, producing more than 1,500 vehicles each day. The plant is an important part of BMW’s global production network and plays a critical role in meeting the high demand for BMW Sports Activity Vehicles and Coupes in the U.S. and around the world. Nearly 60% of its vehicles are shipped to about 120 global markets, making BMW the largest automotive exporter by value in the United States for nine consecutive years.

In 2022, approximately 60% of BMW vehicles sold in the U.S. came from Plant Spartanburg. The model portfolio includes six top-selling BMW X models, five Motorsport X models, and three plug-in hybrid electric vehicle X models. The factory has an annual production capacity of up to 450,000 vehicles and employs more than 11,000 people.

The post Work begins on $700M BMW Manufacturing battery plant in Woodruff appeared first on SC Biz News.

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