WOODRUFF, SC—BMW Group has begun building a state-of-the-art battery factory here. It will produce next-generation batteries that will be used in vehicles assembled at the automaker’s nearby facility in Spartanburg.

“Today’s groundbreaking is the start of a new era as we prepare to produce fully electric BMW X models for the world,” says Robert Engelhorn, president and CEO of BMW Manufacturing. “The road to the future begins here in South Caronlina. Plant Woodruff will be state-of-the-art in terms of sustainability, flexibility and digitalization.”

The site will be operated without fossil fuels and will use 100 percent green electricity. Among other features, the roof will contain numerous solar panels. An innovative technology that involves injecting captured CO2 into fresh concrete during the mixing process will be used in the construction of the plant. This sequesters CO2 permanently at a molecular level and increases the strength of the concrete.

“We are working consistently to advance the transformation to electromobility,” claims Markus Fallböhmer, senior vice president of battery production at BMW AG. "Cutting-edge production facilities for high-voltage batteries are a decisive factor in this."

As part of its “local for local” production initiative, BMW will purchase battery cells from AESC, which is building a new 30-gigawatt-hour battery cell factory in Florence, SC. It will produce newly developed round lithium-ion cells specifically designed for the sixth generation of BMW eDrive technology. According to Fallböhmer, the new battery format will increase energy density by more than 20 percent, and improve charging speed and range by up to 30 percent.