BMW to Expand Solar Capacity at Mexican Plant
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BMW to Expand Solar Capacity at Mexican Plant

Photo by:   Andreas Gücklhorn
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Karin Dilge By Karin Dilge | Journalist and Industry Analyst - Wed, 05/17/2023 - 05:19

BMW is set to double its on-site self-supply capacity at its San Luis Potosi vehicle manufacturing plant. The expansion includes the installation of a larger solar park, which is expected to generate enough power to cover 26% of the plant's total energy consumption. This increase in capacity will enable the plant to operate at base load solely with its own generation when not actively producing vehicles.

The initiative aligns with BMW's commitment to sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable sources. Currently, any energy not generated on-site is being supplied by BayWa through a nearby solar park. The company aims to achieve carbon neutrality by replacing natural gas consumption at the plant's furnaces with biomethane starting next year.

In addition to this sustainable energy project, BMW had previously announced an €800 million (US$866 million) investment in the San Luis PotosI plant. This investment will allow the facility to produce the “Neue Klasse” line of electric vehicles by 2027, as well as high-voltage batteries. This plan is part of BMW Group efforts to increase its EV production capabilities, as the group focuses on meeting the growing demand for sustainable mobility solutions. The investment will create over 1,000 new jobs, according to the company’s press release. The first vehicles made under this platform will be produced at BMW’s plant in Debrecen in 2025, followed by those in Hungry and Munich.

More than half of the total investment – €500 million (US$536 million) – will be used to build a new high-voltage battery production center that will manufacture state-of-the-art batteries for completely electric cars. With this investment, BMW Group aims to grow the role of the San Luis Potosi plant in the company’s global transition to electromobility, says Harald Gottsche, President and CEO, BMW Group San Luis Potosi Plant.

According to local reports, Nuevo Leon is on the verge of securing a new US$1 billion manufacturing investment. The investment aims to establish a facility in the municipality of Salinas Victoria, near Monterrey, which would supply electric vehicle parts to manufacturers in the region, including Tesla, BMW, General Motors and Ford.

The plans for the manufacturing plant are at an advanced stage, with Salinas Victoria's mayor, Raúl Cantú, stating that discussions with an undisclosed firm are progressing well. Additionally, four other companies are reportedly in talks with local authorities to make further investments in the area.

Photo by:   Andreas Gücklhorn

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