Monday, 24 September, 2018

BMW and Great Wall sign agreement to produce Mini EV in China

19 830x622 BMW is investing billions into China’s new battery-cell factory in Germany
Jean Garcia | 11 July, 2018, 23:13

Reports also claim that a deal was made between Volkswagen and CATL for the purchase of electric batteries for its vehicles, although the details about the deal are still unknown to the public.

"Today's signing represents a new chapter in the success story of our BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture", said Harald Krüger, chairman of the board of management of the BMW Group.

While Washington and Beijing trade barbs with each other over billions worth of import tariffs, German chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed the Chinese premier Li Keqiang and his delegation to Berlin on Monday (July 9).

Duesmann said he would welcome it if other carmakers also wanted to invest in the Erfurt plant.

Chinese electric carmaker BYD has opened a new lithium battery plant in China's northwestern province of Qinghai.

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German economy minister Peter Altmaier equally sees the need for a European initiative for the production of battery cells on the continent.

"I don't rule it out", he said. However, since the factory was opening in Europe, it was good that it was opening in Germany, she added.

During the upcoming years, BMW aims to source €4bn ($4.7bn) of battery cells from CATL with €1.5bn of that fund coming from a new facility in Erfurt in Eastern Germany while the rest will be from China.

The European Union has called batteries development and production "a strategic imperative for Europe in the context of the clean energy transition", and aims to create a competitive and sustainable battery manufacturing industry in Europe, with 10 to 20 gigafactories from 2025 onwards. Set to be put into operation in 2021 and provide 600 jobs for the local area, its capacity is expected to reach 14Gwh in 2020. BMW's purchasing head Markus Duesmann said he does not rule out his company producing battery cells itself in the future. "We welcome the decision of CATL to manufacture in Germany and are in talks regarding this", a spokesman said.

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