In order to bring their upcoming BMW i4 electric sedan to production, the German automaker has recently invested approximately $225 million in their Munich factory to produce the vehicle.
Over the past few months, BMW has been preparing several of their factories for the production of their new electric vehicles, so the recent investment in their Munich factory comes as no real surprise.
The BMW i4 concept debuted last year and has since been estimated to sport a WLTP rated range of about 600 km (375 miles). The electric sedan reportedly features a top speed of over 200 km/h (124 mph) with a 4 second 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) time as well.
To produce the electric sedan, BMW invested roughly $225 million into their Munich factory earlier this week, stating in their most recent press release:
“The BMW Group is investing around 200 million euros in the Munich plant to expand its electric mobility. This is the start of preparations for series production of the BMW i4, which will be manufactured at the company’s headquarters starting in 2021. The plant with its approximately 8,000 employees is taking the decisive step towards the production site for all-electric vehicles and mobility concepts of the future. Thus, both cars with internal combustion engines and plug-in hybrids and purely battery-powered vehicles will be on the same line in Munich in the future.”
According to the German automaker, the BMW i4, which will be produced alongside the BMW 3 Series at the Munich factory, will require a completely independent floor assembly.
“The integration of the BMW i4 requires extensive measures, especially in body shop and vehicle assembly. Thus, the body concept of the vehicle differs significantly from the architectures of the models previously produced in the Munich plant. For example, the high-voltage accumulator (battery) of the BMW i4 in bodywork requires an almost completely independent floor assembly including rear triangle. The task of the planning specialists is to design the complexly linked production lines so that the more than 1,000 robots can not only produce the bodies of the BMW 3 Series, 4 Series and M4 every minute, but also the special body of the BMW i4.”
For BMW, the real obstacle in the way of producing the i4 will be installing the vehicle’s high-voltage accumulator. In order to do so, planners will have to accommodate extensive and space-intensive conveyor and system technology into a reportedly “cramped Munich workshop.” BMW has gone as far as to state that the production of the i4 “poses massive assembly challenges.”
Despite the challenges the automaker may face, they intend to achieve series production of the BMW i4 by 2021.