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BMW’s Neue Klasse EVs Will Be Built at This Plant

  • BMW readies plant in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, for Neue Klasse EV production starting in 2027, in addition to others in Europe and North America.
  • The automaker plans to use structural battery packs in its Neue Klasse models, in addition to highly scalable modules for platforms and powertrains, suitable for high-performance models and the automaker’s more affordable volume models.
  • The Neue Klasse EVs will use round lithium-ion cells designed to offer 20% greater energy density, improving range and charging performance.

    BMW is gearing up for an expanded EV lineup, with plans to produce Neue Klasse models—named after the classic generation of 1960s BMW midsizers that effectively established the automaker’s modern identity—in Europe and in North America.

    Earlier this month the Munich-based automaker revealed some of its longer-term plans for the rest of the decade, in addition to revealing the location of a key EV plant in North America. BMW intends to produce EVs in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, in addition to other sites around the globe. The plant will be on the main EV production sites on the continent, and will have its own battery assembly facility as well.

    “The first cars of the Neue Klasse will come off the production line at our plant in Debrecen, Hungary, starting in 2025, followed by the main plant in Munich,” said Milan Nedeljković, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for production.

    Among other things, the San Luis Potosí plant will allow Neue Klasse EV buyers to take advantage of the tax credits offered under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

    The Neue Klasse lineup, first sketched out in March 2021, envision highly scalable modules for platforms and powertrains, suitable for high-performance models and volume models alike. The Neue Klasse vehicles will feature a high-voltage battery integrated into the vehicle structure, with BMW being one of a handful of EV makers working on the so-called structural battery pack.

    In addition, the Neue Klasse battery packs will also feature the new, round lithium-ion cells designed to offer 20% greater energy density, as well as improvements in range and charging speed of 30%. Separately, BMW is working on solid-state battery tech, but the timing for this new technology is a little more fluid despite tests in prototype vehicles slated to start this year. Neue Klasse models will therefore debut with sixth generation of BMW eDrive.

    BMW has also promised to focus on increasing interior space in its lineup, while also offering interiors with recyclable materials as part of a “secondary first” approach. The vehicles themselves are expected to span most current segments.

    “We are systematically gearing our production network towards electromobility. In Mexico, we are investing €800 million in our plant and creating around 1000 new jobs,” Nedeljković added.

    The San Luis Potosí plant currently produces the 2-Series, including the M2, as well as the 3-Series.

    The plant won’t be the only one in North America producing Neue Klasse models. BMW also intends to expand its Spartanburg, South Carolina, site, dedicating $1.7 billion to the effort. The automaker’s plans for South Carolina also include a new assembly center for high-voltage batteries in Woodruff—an effort that will require a $700 million investment, already approved.

    Just when will we see the first Neue Klasse EVs roll out of San Luis Potosí?

    This particular plant won’t produce the first models until 2027, but as Nedeljković noted the first Neue Klasse EVs bound for the US will first come from Germany in 2025, with a 3-Series-style sedan and a compact SUV, similar in size to the X3, expected to debut first.

    Which BMW segments would you like to see go electric sooner? Let us know in the comments below.

    Jay Ramey grew up around very strange European cars, and instead of seeking out something reliable and comfortable for his own personal use he has been drawn to the more adventurous side of the dependability spectrum.

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