How BMW plans to supply parts for EV production

Last month BMW announced a $1.7 billion investment to build at least six battery-powered models at its plant in Greer, S.C., by 2030. The project includes domestic sourcing of next-generation batteries and construction of a $700 million battery-pack assembly plant in nearby Woodruff, S.C.

Post and his team must help the suppliers for BMW’s combustion engine vehicles adapt their businesses to provide as many EV components as possible. Using the existing supplier base is essential because those companies have the know-how, said Post, who has a doctorate in mechanical engineering.

“It’s not a big issue to bring them to transformation,” he said. Combustion engine parts suppliers can repurpose a factory to produce housings and bearings for electric motors, while suppliers working on engine cooling can adapt their know-how to cooling batteries.

But in the case of EV powertrain components such as battery cells and electric motors, BMW wants to develop those technologies in-house or tap into a new ecosystem of suppliers.

“A lot of new technologies you cannot easily buy on the market,” Post said, noting the automaker is developing electric motors and battery-pack assembly in-house.

“This is a key technology for us,” he added. “It’s important for us to have the know-how in the company for that.”

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