BMW announced that the all-electric iX3 SUV will be manufactured in China and exported to outside markets. The German automaker also confirmed a new battery contract for all of their new electric cars. The contract is bigger than this firm expected.
Chairmen of the Board of Management of the BMW AG, Harald Krüger, issued the following statement about the iX3:
“Today’s signing represents a new chapter in the success story of our BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture. Our agreement sets a long-term framework for our future in China – a future involving continued investment, further growth and a clear commitment to the development and production of electric vehicles. The next chapter of our cooperation has the potential to go beyond our existing motto – in China, for China. The all-electric BMW iX3, produced by BBA from 2020, will find customers around the world.”
The battery contract is with Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd., or CATL. The $4.7 billion deal involves BMW buying CATL’s batteries from a factory in Erfut, Germany. CATL will take full responsibility of the sourcing materials for the batteries. These materials include minerals like cobalt and lithium.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the investment was a smart move by BMW. “If we could do it ourselves, then I would not be upset,” Merkel stated.
CATL is currently the world’s largest battery cell maker for electric cars and said that they plan on expanding more in Europe.
The iX3 is due in 2020 and BMW plans to produce as many as 520,000 per year. This firm commented on their eDrive electric powertrain technology:
“The fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology is distinguished by its extremely compact design. The electric motor, transmission and power electronics are now grouped into a single component, making it much easier to integrate them into different vehicle architectures. Plus, their modular construction enables them to be adapted to the performance levels required and the available space. Another notable element is that the electric motor does not need any rare earths, which means this Group is not dependent on their availability.”
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