MUNICH—BMW could spend as much as $8.6 billion on R&D this year to develop and produce electric and autonomous vehicles.

According to the automaker’s 2017-18 annual report, BMW expects to allocate between 6.5 and 7 percent of its 2018 gross revenue to R&D—above its usual range of 5 to 5.5 percent.

BMW has already set up a research campus outside Munich devoted to the development of autonomous driving, and the company has allocated approximately $122 million on battery-cell research. Later this year, BMW will debut several pure-electric concept vehicles that are ultimately destined for series production.

To learn more about BMW’s South Carolina assembly plant, read chief editor John Sprovieri’s 2012 profile of the facility.