When BMW unveiled the all-electric iX3 SUV in Beijing earlier this year, the German automaker’s plan for the vehicle wasn’t clear outside of China.
Now they have confirmed that the upcoming new electric vehicle will be built in China and exported to other markets as the automaker confirms a massive new battery contract for the production of its new electric vehicles.
During an announcement of the expansion of its BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA) joint-venture in China, Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, made the comment about the iX3:
Today’s signing represents a new chapter in the success story of our BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture. Our agreement sets a long-term framework for our future in China – a future involving continued investment, further growth and a clear commitment to the development and production of electric vehicles. The next chapter of our cooperation has the potential to go beyond our existing motto – in China, for China. The all-electric BMW iX3, produced by BBA from 2020, will find customers around the world,
BMW also confirmed that it will mean the Chinese-produced iX3 will be exported to other markets.
Last month, BMW said that it secured a battery supply contract with CATL to support future EV production.
The company has now elaborated on the contract, which is actually bigger than originally thought.
The German automaker had reportedly confirmed the contract to be worth over a billion euros ($1.16 billion), but we’ve now learned that it was only for batteries that CATL, China’s largest battery cell manufacturer, will produce at a new factory in Europe.
An announcement on the location of the factory, which is expected to be in Germany, is reportedly coming this week.
The total value of the contract is actually 4 billion euros ($4.7 billion), as confirmed by BMW today, for the next few years and the difference will be coming from CATL’s current factories in China.
The battery manufacturer currently has a 17.5 GWh production capacity which is quickly ramping up to 24 GWh with a new factory.
That’s without accounting for the new factory planned in Europe.
BMW is currently getting its electric vehicle battery cells from Samsung SDI for the BMW i3 and its plug-in hybrids.
The automaker is currently working on a new generation electric powertrain for upcoming new electric vehicles – starting with the iX3.
As we mentioned in our report on BMW’s next-gen electric powertrain technology last month, the German automaker doesn’t want to manufacture its own battery cells even though it acknowledges that it is a critical part of electric vehicle production.
The automaker is instead focusing on battery module and pack technology and will work with suppliers for battery cells.
BMW currently plans for 15 to 25 percent of its overall production to be “electrified”, which means either all-electric or plug-in hybrid, by 2025.
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