The BMW Group continues to build on its leading international role in the field of electro-mobility, as the 100,000th BMW i3 rolled off the production line at the company’s Leipzig plant today.
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 today’s 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.
100,000th BMW i3 from Leipzig
Series production of the BMW i3 began in September 2013. The BMW Group has invested a total of 400 million euros in production of BMW i models at the Leipzig location and created more than 800 jobs. Current daily production of the BMW i3 stands at more than 120 units, with an annual production volume in 2016 of 26,631 vehicles.
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.
Series production of the BMW i8 got underway in May 2014 and a total of 2,783 BMW i8s were shipped from the plant in 2016. 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 onto the market in 2018.
BMW Group opens large-scale battery storage in Leipzig
The official commissioning of the battery storage farm on the grounds of BMW Plant Leipzig demonstrates innovative, sustainable and profitable second use of BMW i3 batteries after a vehicle reaches the end of its lifecycle.
The battery storage unit in Leipzig can house up to 700 used BMW i3 high-capacity batteries. There are currently 500 new and used batteries integrated, because today – four years after the BMW i3 market launch – most battery packs are still in cars on the road.
With wind turbines located on the grounds of the plant, the BMW Battery Storage Farm Leipzig links decentralised captive production from renewable energies with local energy storage and an industrial consumer in a completely unique way. The stationary battery storage farm is also integrated with the public power grid, which enables its electricity to be marketed as primary balancing power. In this way, the BMW Group is making a contri-bution to the stability of the public power grid and performing a valuable function for the wider community. When there is a surplus of power from renewable energies, large-scale battery storage can relieve the grid by absorbing electricity. When there is not enough power in the electricity grid, the facility can release electricity to help stabilise the grid.
The battery storage farm at BMW Group Plant Leipzig will open up new potential for cost and energy efficiency, as well as CO2 reduction in the energy sector. It is yet another example of practical steps the BMW Group is taking in its aspiration to become the most sustainable automotive company in the world.
The BMW Battery Storage Farm project in Leipzig is part of the WindNODE initiative, dedicated to promoting intelligent usage and storage systems for renewable energies. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy provides funding for the venture through its “Smart Energy Showcases – Digital Agenda for the Energy Transition” (SINTEG) programme.