BMW is building a plant for a new electric car platform in Hungary

BMW has laid the foundation stone for its new plant in Debrecen, Hungary. The company is investing more than one billion euros in the site, where series production of the first all-electric vehicle of the “New Class” is to start in 2025.

“With the Debrecen plant, we are setting new standards for highly innovative vehicle construction,” said Milan Nedeljković, Board Member for Production at BMW AG, at the laying of the foundation stone. “This plant is state-of-the-art for flexibility, sustainability and digitization in the entire automotive industry.” Nedeljković emphasized that the new plant in Hungary plays a decisive role in the transformation to electromobility for the BMW Group and its production network. With the expansion of further capacities in Europe, the company is also strengthening the balance of production volumes between the American, Chinese and European markets.

On an area of ​​more than 400 hectares in the northwest of the Hungarian city of Debrecen, BMW is building a full vehicle plant with a press shop, body shop, paint shop and assembly line. The capacity is around 150,000 units per year. From 2025, only electric cars will be produced at the site. The model made in Debrecen establishes the platform “New Class” and uses a cluster architecture developed purely for fully electric vehicles.

“The new class and the new architecture offer us the unique opportunity to completely rethink automobile production in all its dimensions,” said Nedeljković BMW iFactory with its lean, green and digital directions, we will implement this future work in an ideal way.”

View of the Debrecen plant

BMW emphasizes the focus of the new production site on sustainability. “The CO2 emissions per vehicle produced are zero. With this we will prove that with the right will and innovative strength, sustainable automobile production is possible,” says Nedeljković. An essential element of the sustainability concept is the renunciation of fossil fuels. “We will use neither oil nor natural gas, but only energy obtained from renewable sources,” emphasized Nedeljković. “In our plant in Debrecen we are realizing the world’s first CO2-free vehicle production.” Debrecen is thus making a noticeable contribution to reducing the CO2 emissions generated in production by 80 percent by 2030.

A significant part of the required energy is to be generated by large-scale photovoltaic systems directly on the factory premises. According to BMW, the plant obtains the additional electricity required from regional renewable sources. In addition, the use of geothermal energy is being investigated. Especially with regard to the paint shop, innovative technologies that were not previously available on the market in this form would be used. The abandonment of gas-powered burners for the drying systems requires the integration of new, electricity-based technologies into the future production system.

BMW names circularity as another element of sustainable production: production materials and resources are reused whenever possible. For example, metal scrap and shavings from milling and pressing would be recycled and reused. The waste heat from cooling flows into a circuit and is then used to heat rooms and water. The plant uses special monitoring systems to precisely determine all consumption, to register unnecessary waste and to produce as resource-efficiently as possible.

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