BMW is gearing up to release hybrid versions of two extremely popular models — the X3 and X5 — the latter of which is slated to start production Aug. 1. Rather than having some other company assemble the battery packs for these vehicles, which is a relatively common practice in the industry, BMW prefers to do it itself.
Of course, that requires some smart logistics. Thankfully BMW is pretty good at that, which is why it's been able to double its battery pack production capacity in its Spartanburg, South Carolina factory, which the company announced on Wednesday. This means it's invested $10 million in the battery facility and increased its size to over 86,000 square-feet.
Beyond that, BMW has invested a further $10 million in its PHEV production line in Spartanburg. Clearly, it's planning on selling a lot of X5 xDrive45e and X3 xDrive30e models, the latter of which will go into production in December.
We drove the xDrive45e earlier this year alongside three other BMW PHEVs, and it was far and away our favorite thanks to the nearly 400 horsepower provided by its hybrid drivetrain. Its 24 kilowatt-hour battery is more than double the size of the previous X5 PHEV, and that makes it much more practical to use in EV mode.
BMW's Spartanburg factory has been in operation for 24 years, with its battery pack production line having been in full-swing for the last four.