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BMW Group initiates construction of electric battery plant in Thailand

BMW Group initiates construction of electric battery plant in Thailand

On March 4th, the BMW Group announced the launch of construction for a battery assembly plant in Rayong, Thailand.  

Milan Nedeljković, Board Member for Production, Thai government representatives, and German Ambassador Ernst Reichel, attended the ceremony and marked the start of the construction.

The BMW Group also announced an additional production facility, specifically designed for manufacturing fully electric vehicles. Local production of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) is set to begin in the second half of 2025.

High-Voltage Battery Production

Since 2019, BMW Group has been making high-voltage batteries in Thailand for local plug-in hybrids. The Rayong plant produces around two dozen BMW, MINI, and BMW Motorrad models for Thailand and ASEAN markets. In 2023, they made over 12,000 cars and nearly 11,000 motorcycles.

Looking ahead, a new high-voltage battery assembly facility in Thailand, covering 4,000 square meters, is a key addition to BMW Group Manufacturing Thailand’s operations. An upcoming assembly line will convert imported battery cells into modules for high-voltage batteries. The BMW Group is investing over 1.6 billion Thai baht (approximately 42 million euros) in this project, with nearly 1.4 billion Thai baht allocated for purchasing state-of-the-art equipment and systems.

Decade of Growth

Over the past decade, the electric vehicle (EV) industry has surged forward, emerging as one of the most rapidly expanding markets in the world. 

In 2011, global EV sales tallied approximately 55,000 units, but by 2021, that number had skyrocketed to nearly 7 million vehicles, showcasing the remarkable growth of the EV sector. 

Although many question this, this upward trajectory has continued into 2023. According to SEC-registered investment adviser, Gary Black, the global EV adoption reached a new record, surging to 11.8% in Q3 2023, up from 10.7% in Q2, and a substantial leap from 10.1% in 2022’s third quarter.

BMW Group aimed to introduce at least one fully electric model in key segments, by early 2023. The goal is to achieve a 50% delivery share of all-electric vehicles from 2025 onwards, focusing on the Neue Klasse.

The company plans to offer at least one fully electric model in virtually all relevant series, from the compact segment to the ultra-luxury class. 

Recent additions include the BMW i4 and iX, complementing existing models like the i3, MINI Cooper SE, and BMW iX3. Future plans include fully electric versions of the BMW 5 Series, 7 Series, and X1, while Rolls-Royce and MINI are also advancing towards electromobility.

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