Leading automaker BMW Group has announced that it will invest $1.7 billion to build electric vehicles (EVs) in the US.
The investment includes $1 billion to prepare for producing electric vehicles at the company's existing US manufacturing facility in South Carolina and $700 million to build a new high-voltage battery assembly facility nearby Woodruff, SC.
"For decades, Plant Spartanburg has been a cornerstone of the global success of the BMW Group, the home of the BMW X models that are so popular all over the world," Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management, BMW Group, said in a statement.
"Going forward, it will also be a major driver for our electrification strategy, and we will produce at least six fully electric BMW X models here by 2030," Zipse added.
The BMW Group said that it aims to purchase battery cells for its electric vehicles where production occurs.
The company has found a partner in Envision AESC, which will build a new battery cell factory in South Carolina, to supply Plant Spartanburg.
Envision will produce newly developed round lithium-ion battery cells, specifically designed for the sixth generation of BMW eDrive technology, and will be used in the next generation of electric vehicles.
The annual capacity of the battery cell factory will be up to 30 GWh, the company said.
The new battery format will increase energy density by more than 20 per cent, improve charging speed by up to 30 per cent and enhance range by up to
30 per cent.
At the same time, CO2 emissions from cell production will be reduced by up to 60 per cent through the partial use of secondary lithium, cobalt and nickel material, as well as renewable energy for production.