BMW has stated that separate manufacturing facilities for hybrids and EVs will no longer be a sustainable form of car production. The company now believes that using a flexible production line will be the ideal way to go forward and fulfil varied customer demands.With this in place, BMW looks to build ICE, hybrid, and fully electric versions of the same car on the same production line.
When the BMW i3 and i8 electric cars hit the market earlier, they rolled off the dedicated assembly facility at its Leipzig plant in Germany which was separate from the regular models. BMW believes that through because ofthis new practice, therey will be no need to idleseasons in any of the factories when demand for some models fall.
Oliver Zipse, BMW Board Member- Production, said, “The strategy for the future is to integrate all drivetrains, whether it's purely battery-electric, whether it's a hybrid or a purely combustion engine. You will see battery-electric right after diesel, right after hybrid on the assembly line. That's the only way we think to respond to the necessary flexibility because we don't know the demand.”
There’s undoubtedly a lot of money involved in getting this flexible production line merged with the current one. Not to forget that it is imperative to have the battery pack manufactured in the vicinity to lower shipping costs. It is assumed that BMW’s plant in Spartanburg (South Carolina, USA) could lead the way for this flexi production plan. This facility already makes the regular and the plug-in hybrid X5 at the same venue, and it eventually only needs the fully-electric version to join the production line.