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BMW Charges Ahead with $860 Million Investment for EV Battery Facility in Mexico



BMW is initiating the construction of a battery assembly plant at its location in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, in preparation for the manufacturing of its upcoming Neue Klasse electric vehicles.

BMW announced in a recent press statement that along with enhancing the battery unit, it's also upgrading the body shop and implementing further improvements at the facility. This will involve a significant financial commitment of 800 million euros, equivalent to roughly $860 million based on the current currency conversion rates. Additionally, the car manufacturer has set a target to produce 20% of the factory's energy through solar panels and to escalate the utilization of processed wastewater.

Battery cells in the shape of cylinders produced by BMW

BMW has revealed plans to manufacture its upcoming Neue Klasse electric vehicles in Mexico and at two other locations in Europe starting in February 2023. The company will equip these EVs with cylindrical battery cells that hold 20% more energy than existing ones, which BMW asserts will enhance charging times and extend driving distance by 30%. The car manufacturer suggests that this technology might give it a competitive edge over Tesla.

According to The Yucatan Times, the commencement of construction for the larger facility in Mexico has been postponed. Nevertheless, BMW remains committed to its initial schedule for the finished goods, with the launch of the Neue Klasse (which translates to "new class" in English) vehicles expected to start from the plant in Mexico by 2027, following an earlier start in Europe.

Cylindrical cells for BMW batteries

The inaugural model from the Neue Klasse range, an SUV initially showcased through the Vision Neue Klasse X concept, is set to begin manufacturing in Hungary in 2025. Following this, a sedan inspired by the pared-down Vision Neue Klasse concept is expected to enter production in Germany in 2026. Additionally, this SUV will be the pioneer electric vehicle to be constructed at the Mexico plant, inaugurated in 2019, which at present is dedicated to producing petrol-powered BMW 3-Series and 2-Series vehicles.

In a 2023 discussion, development chief Frank Weber revealed that the upcoming Neue Klasse, which pays homage to a legendary line of BMWs from the '60s, will be both accessible in price and unique in style, steering clear of the divisive aesthetics and configuration that characterized the former BMW i3.



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It's probable that the United States will see the release of this small electric vehicle, which could compete with the Volvo EX30 and Mini Countryman, although there's no official confirmation yet.

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