BMW has announced that it will start production of its fully electric i4 model at its Munich plant. The next-generation SUV is slated to hit the market in the spring of next year. The multinational automobile manufacturer builds several models at the Munich plant, including the BMW 3 Series, BMW M3 and BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé with combustion engines and plug-in hybrids. According to BMW, by 2023 at least half of all cars leaving the plant will be electric vehicles.
The production of different models in a single, nearly 100-year-old factory has its own difficulties. It requires flexibility and a lot of integration into existing production structures. This will cost BMW around 200 million euros (around 1,747 billion rupees).
“Building up the production of the fully electric BMW i4 in the almost 100-year-old factory, converting and installing systems was particularly challenging,” says BMW Plant Manager Munich Peter Weber.
“Our body shop is a shining example of intelligent and efficient integration. Most of the new production processes for the BMW i4 can be implemented on the existing bodywork systems. “
BMW says, however, that the architectural systems of the i4 are 90 percent identical to conventional systems, with the exception of the electric drive and the high-voltage battery. The battery pack is now screwed to the body using a new, fully automatic battery assembly system that is equipped with high-resolution cameras to ensure that there are no contaminants that could cause damage.
“For the plant and team, the introduction of the BMW i4 is a milestone on the way to electromobility. By 2023, more than half of all vehicles from our Munich plant will have an electrified drive. The majority will be fully electric. So Munich will be fully electric, ”says BMW Board Member for Production Milan Nedeljković.
The BMW website states that the i4 is equipped with a new flexible fast charger. “This portable device, compatible with any 120V or 240V outlet, offers optimized charging wherever you go. Charge from 0 to 100 percent in less than 9 hours at a 240 V socket. “
In the US, the BMW i4 will be available at a starting price of $ 56,395 (approximately Rs. 42.32 lakh) and is expected to have an EPA range of 300 miles (482 km).