BMW has announced plans to spend up to €1 billion ($1.05 billion) on the development and production of its next-generation electric powertrains at its plant in Steyr, Austria.
In a press release on Monday, the German automaker said the project will start in 2025 and last until 2030. The facility will play an integral part of BMW’s electric future after developing and building their internal combustion engines for over 40 years, with BMW calling it the “most important milestone since [the facility’s] groundbreaking in 1979.”
“This plant has developed and manufactured combustion engines for our BMW and MINI brands for more than 40 years. One out of every two BMW Group vehicles around the world today already has a ‘heart’ built in Steyr. From 2025, we will also develop and produce the next generation of e-drives here,” explains Milan Nedeljković, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for production.
About €710 million ($746 million) will go towards expanding the production area by 60,000 square feet with a number of new buildings, as well as refurbishment of existing areas of the factory.
The core components for a new e-drivetrain including the rotor, stator, transmission, inverter and the housing, will be built on two assembly lines in Steyr. BMW hopes to produce up to 600,000 e-drives each year at the facility.
“A two-storey production hall will house two assembly lines for e-drives, including transmission assembly. The new building will also be used for manufacturing power electronics with clean room technology. A second new building will expand the logistics areas.”
The remaining €230 million ($241 million) will be spent on developing the new e-drives from 2025 until 2030. The automaker expects about 50% of their 4,400 employees and 90% of their developers to work in e-mobility by the end of the decade. Currently 33% of their developers work in the e-mobility space.
BMW is targeting a 30% drop in battery prices to take on Tesla