The BMW Group has taken up an expansion of the BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA) joint venture battery factory in China.
The BMW Group opened the battery plant in China seven months ago.
At the High-Voltage Battery Centre Phase II, BBA will manufacture new, more powerful batteries of the fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology for the fully-electric BMW iX3.
The BMW iX3 will be built at the neighbouring BBA plant Dadong from 2020.
BMW board member responsible for production Oliver Zipse said: “Today, we break ground for the next stage of our electric model offensive. In this regard, we further increase the capacity of our local battery production. This enables us to follow the increasing demand for electro mobility in China.”
China is the BMW Group’s largest single market, where the automobile manufacturer already offers six electrified models, offering customers the widest range of options in the premium segment.
The BMW Group, which more than doubled its sales of electrified vehicles (EVs) in China in 2017 from the previous year, expects this growth to continue in 2018.
Earlier in 2018, production of the new BMW 5 Series Plug-in Hybrid got underway at the BBA plant Dadong.
The Leipzig plant began building the fully-electric BMW i3 in 2013. Today, the BMW Group produces cars with combustion engines on the same lines as plug-in hybrids at 10 locations worldwide.
The firm said that three plants in Germany, the US and China supply batteries for local production of EVs. In the future, production of fully-electric vehicles will also be integrated into existing manufacturing structures.
Zipse said: “Maximum utilisation of plant capacity is a priority for us. That is why we are designing our production system so that we can build models with a fully or partially electric drive train or combustion engine on the same assembly line.”
The BMW Group and Brilliance China Automotive Holdings formed the BBA Brilliance Automotive joint venture in 2003.