BMW breaks ground on $700M South Carolina battery assembly plant

Dive Brief:

  • BMW broke ground on a $700 million battery assembly plant in Woodruff, South Carolina, on Tuesday. 
  • The 1-million-square-foot factory will produce batteries for EVs made in BMW’s Spartanburg, South Carolina, vehicle plant. The site will create over 300 jobs with the possibility for future growth.
  • Construction on the Woodruff plant is expected to begin this fall, with operations anticipated to begin in 2026, a company representative told Manufacturing Dive in an email.

Dive Insight:

BMW’s Woodruff battery facility is part of a $1.7 billion investment by the automaker in its U.S. operations, including $1 billion to prepare its Spartanburg site for EV production.

The battery assembly and EV plants are part of the German-based automaker’s “local for local” strategy, keeping battery and vehicle production locations close together, Markus Fallböhmer, senior vice president of battery production at BMW AG, said in the release.

“We are working consistently to advance the transformation to electromobility,” Fallböhmer said in a statement. “Cutting-edge production facilities for top-performance high-voltage batteries are a decisive factor in this.”

The Woodruff site will operate without fossil fuels and use 100% green electricity, helping BMW to reach its goal of reducing its carbon dioxide emissions by 80% compared to 2019 levels by 2030. 

The upcoming Woodruff plant is part of a partnership between BMW and Japan-based lithium battery manufacturer, which the two companies first announced last October.  

The upcoming Woodruff plant is part of a partnership between BMW and a Japan-based lithium battery manufacturer, Envision AESC, which the two companies first announced last October. As part of its investment in U.S. production, the battery manufacturer broke ground on its own $810 million South Carolina plant on Friday, which will produce batteries for BMW’s Spartanburg EV factory.

Other foreign automakers are also ramping up EV and battery production in the U.S., launching networks of supplier plants surrounding their factories. The Hyundai Motor Group is building a $5.5 billion manufacturing campus in Ellabell, Georgia, with its suppliers planting themselves nearby. 

The company also created a joint venture with LG Energy Solution to build a $4.3 billion battery cell plant, which will be adjacent to Hyundai’s EV campus.

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