The company will build six EVs in the US.
Since the i4 and iX are both built in Germany, they no longer qualify for the $7,500 credit, which now requires North American assembly. Earlier rumors suggest that BMW would move some EV production to Mexico to circumvent the new legislation, but the German automaker has a much bigger plan.
The BMW Group recently announced a $1.7 billion investment to assemble electric vehicles at its Spartanburg plant in South Carolina. $1 billion will go towards preparing the factory to build EVs, while the rest will fund a battery factory in nearby Woodruff that will supply lithium-ion cells.
This is massive news for American manufacturing as BMW joins a growing list of automakers that plan to localize EV production following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act.
BMW says it plans to build at least six all-electric models in Spartanburg by 2030, though it did not specify which ones would be assembled there.
The battery plant is equally important, as the Inflation Reduction Act includes provisions dictating battery sourcing. This new factory will take up one million square feet and add 300 new jobs in South Carolina. The batteries will be produced by Envision AESC and were designed for the sixth generation of BMW eDrive technology.
BMW says the new format will improve energy density by over 20%, increase charging speed by up to 30%, and up the range by up to 30%.
Plant Spartanburg was built 30 years ago and recently produced its six-millionth car.
The factory currently assembles the plug-in hybrid BMW X3 xDrive30e and BMW X5 xDrive45e, with nearly 70,000 electrified vehicles leaving the line in 2021.
BMW employs over 11,000 people in South Carolina, with an annual capacity to build up to 450,000 vehicles. With this latest investment, BMW has committed to keeping jobs in the state through the current decade and beyond.