BMW plans to build a large high-voltage battery assembly plant in Bavaria, with construction set to begin in 2024. The plant will supply all Bavarian plants, including Munich, Regensburg, and Dingolfing, according to a BMW spokesperson. The company is currently in final talks with the location’s owners and aims for series production to start in 2026.
BMW plans to begin operation of a new assembly plant in 2026 where round cells for electric cars of the New Class will be assembled into packs. BMW has previously announced their use of round cells in their new electric cars starting in 2025 and has commissioned CATL and Eve Energy to build two gigafactories in Europe and China. The CATL plant in Debrecen, Hungary will supply the new assembly plant in Irlbach, where battery packs will be assembled centrally for the BMW vehicle plants in Bavaria, simplifying logistics and streamlining the production process.
While the spokesman does not give any further details with reference to the still ongoing search for a location, according to the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” there is open talk about Irlbach “among local politicians and in agricultural circles in the region”. Armin Soller, mayor of the town with 1,200 inhabitants, confirmed to the newspaper: “We are in the running, even if nothing has been signed yet.”
BMW is reportedly in negotiations to secure an area of 160 hectares in Irlbach for a high-voltage assembly plant. This is significantly larger than the 50-100 hectares that the company had been seeking in a tender for Bavarian municipalities.
The Dingolfing plant, currently BMW’s largest site in Europe at 280 hectares, is being used as a size comparison. However, the new vehicle plant in Debrecen is set to cover an area of 400 hectares. The proposed location of the plant has faced criticism, particularly due to the large industrial halls being built on fertile farmland, and the fact that the area is much larger than the 23.5 hectares of the Wallersdorf logistics warehouse.
Initially, Gottfrieding was favored for the contract due to its proximity to the Dingolfing plant, but negotiations with 45 landowners proved to be too time-consuming for BMW. In Irlbach, the company is only negotiating with one landowner.