The BMW Group’s lineup of electric vehicles will grow to at least 13 members by the end of 2023, with the most recent addition being the 2023 BMW iX1 compact crossover. However, the automaker is already preparing to build a new generation of EVs based on the Neue Klasse (German for “new class”) platform, the first of which will be in 2025.
Production of the first Neue Klasse EV will be conducted at a state-of-the-art plant under construction in Debrecen, Hungary. The foundation stone was laid on Wednesday.
The BMW Group will invest 1 billion euros (approximately $ 1.07 billion) on the site to build a press shop, body shop and paint shop, as well as a complete vehicle plant comprising assembly lines. The initial annual capacity will be 150,000 vehicles. And as a new site, it will take advantage of the latest production methods as well as digitization and sustainable technology.
Impressions of a BMW Group plant under construction in Debrecen, Hungary
The BMW Group said the plant would have carbon-free operations. Specific measures to achieve this goal include the use of 100% renewable energy and, where possible, recycling of production materials and other resources, such as filing from metal offcuts and milling, as well as waste heat from cooling systems.
The first Neue Klasse will be in the BMW 3-Series segment, confirmed BMW Group CEO Oliver Gypsy in May. The code-named NK1, the car is expected to be part of the next-generation 3-Series family, possibly the successor to the electric 3-Series introduced in China later this year (the amazing i3 electric hatchback is dead).
Although the Neue Klasse platform will be a dedicated EV platform (previously planned it would also support hybrid powertrains), BMW will offer vehicles with internal-combustion engines. BMW predicts that even by 2030, half of its vehicles sold worldwide will still have an internal-combustion engine, although most of it is likely to be electrified in one form or another.