Built To Have The Most Advanced Tech, The Manufacturing Of BMW iX and i4’s E-Drivetrain

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Afiq Saha | 07-07-2021 12:15 PM

BMW is preparing to launch its all-new electric models, the BMW iX and i4, with manufacturing of its e-drivetrain seeing extensive usage of in-house developed technology.

At the Competence Centre in Dingolfing, its production is driven with the sole purpose of creating new technology that would thrust the company ahead in the game.

The company’s two new electric models feature 5th generation high-voltage batteries and battery modules, meaning they will have the most advanced technology available.

Moreover, while manufacturing for the BMW iX and i4’s e-drivetrain just started, the site was already producing the same power units for the iX3 ever since 2020.

Dissecting further, the e-drivetrain built with the 5th generation BMW eDrive technology allows the drive units’ output, energy content and high-voltage batteries to be flexibly scaled. 

Meaning, the new e-drivetrain system can be optimally adjusted and tuned to be suited and used on different model variants.

Each vehicle uses up to two highly integrated e-drives, which combine the electric motor, power electronics and transmission in a single housing. 

Interestingly, based on the design principle of a current-excited rotor, the 5th generation e-drivetrain does not require any materials classified as rare-earth metals.

For instance, the battery modules are produced from supplied prismatic battery cells at the respective BMW Group production location.

As such, the modular system developed in-house allows model-specific high-voltage batteries to be manufactured from these modules in a flexible arrangement.

Clearly the company expects the demand for electric cars to go up considerably over the next coming years.

Thereby, to keep up with it, the company has declared an investment of over 500 million euros (RM 2,471,837,913) in expanding its Dingolfing location until 2022.

This way, the plant will be capable of making more than 500,000 e-drives for BMW models starting late next year.

Speaking of which, other locations will also undergo severe changes, including Leipzig, Regensburg and the Steyr plants.

All of the sites mentioned above will also be upgraded up until 2022, following an investment of another 200 million euros (RM 988,631,352).

In brief, all the standard production of the BMW iX will soon get underway at BMW Group Plant Dingolfing, followed by the production of the BMW i4 at Plant Munich in the autumn.

“We expect at least 50 percent of the vehicles we deliver to our customers worldwide to be electrified by 2030. To achieve this, we are relying on our extensive in-house drivetrain expertise. We are increasing capacity at existing drivetrain production locations, like here in Dingolfing and developing capabilities at others, like recently in Regensburg and Leipzig,” concluded BMW Group’s senior vice president for production engines and e-drives Michael Nikolaides.

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