The BMW i3 has played a major part in making the BMW Group one of the most successful suppliers of electrified vehicles worldwide.
Harald Krüger, chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, and plant director, Hans-Peter Kemser celebrated this milestone with Saxony’s minister-president Stanislaw Tillich, other guests and plant employees.
At the event, Krüger and Kemser also presented the next member of the BMW i family, the BMW i8 Roadster, as a camouflaged prototype; series production of the BMW i8 Roadster will begin in 2018. A further highlight was the official commissioning of the BMW Battery Storage Farm Leipzig, which will connect up to 700 BMW i3 high-capacity batteries. The large-scale battery storage system at the Leipzig plant will give batteries previously installed in BMW i3 cars a second life and put them to profitable use in a sustainable, energy-based business model.
Krüger said, “We are proud of the 100,000th BMW i3 built by our plant in Leipzig. The BMW i3 is the original, a true technological pioneer. With BMW i as our spearhead, we intend to remain the leading premium supplier of electro-mobility going forward. We are now looking ahead to the next member of the BMW i family, the i8 Roadster, which will expand our leading position in the field of electro-mobility. In 2025, we will offer our customers a total of 25 models with electrified drive trains. In the interests of sustainability, we are also presenting a concept for the second use of BMW i3 high-voltage batteries. With our Strategy NUMBER ONE > NEXT, we are looking far beyond the car itself and driving change in our industry with totally new approaches and business models.”
Tillich continued to be impressed with the development of BMW’s Leipzig plant and said, “Two days after I was elected minister-president for the first time, I came to Leipzig to attend the topping out ceremony for the new BMW press shop. I have followed developments very closely ever since and had conversations with the Board of Management of BMW on a regular basis. The plant began building electric cars in 2013 and, by the end of my term of office, the Leipzig plant will have produced over 100,000 electric cars. Now, with its battery farm, BMW is beginning a new chapter in its innovative history.
“I would like to thank the BMW Group for choosing to make Leipzig the leading production location for premium electric vehicles in Germany. I am confident that BMW will further contribute to the positive economic development of the Leipzig region and Saxony as a car-producing state, through future growth in the areas of electro-mobility and connected driving.”
Series production of the BMW i3 began in September 2013. Current daily production of the BMW i3 stands at more than 120 units, with an annual production volume in 2016 of 26,631 vehicles. “We are proud of our team performance, which enables us to celebrate production of the 100,000th BMW i3 today – all with the same premium quality and efficiency as our more conventional models. I would like to thank all our associates for this tremendous achievement,” said Kemser. Production in Leipzig includes making carbon-fibre parts and painted plastic parts for outer skin panels, the BMW i body shop and BMW i assembly hall.
Production of the most successful hybrid sports car worldwide currently stands at eight to ten vehicles per day. The next member of the BMW i family, the BMW i8 Roadster, an open-topped version of the sports car, will be released in the market in 2018.
The official commissioning of the battery storage farm on the grounds of BMW Plant Leipzig demonstrates innovative and profitable second use of BMW i3 batteries after a vehicle reaches the end of its lifecycle. “The capacity of 700 high-voltage batteries is the equivalent of an electric range of 100,000km in a BMW i3. The scalable approach means that the storage unit could be further expanded to accommodate more batteries. It is already compatible with upcoming battery generations and therefore future-proof,” said Joachim Kolling, head of Energy Services at the BMW Group.