BMW will establish assembly operations for a sixth-generation (Gen6) electric vehicle battery on the site of its new iFactory manufacturing plant in Debrecen, Hungary.

The Gen6 battery assembly operations will centre on BMW’s “next-generation round battery cells” for models based on the firm’s Neue Klasse platform, said Milan Nedeljković, BMW board member responsible for production.

“In Debrecen, we’re building the most advanced plant in the world. With our iFactory, we’re setting new industry standards for vehicle production. Our investments underline our systematic approach to implementing e-mobility,“ he said.

The first model planned to be based on the Neue Klasse platform is an electric saloon that sources suggest will revive the BMW i3 name when it enters production in 2025. Its development is twinned with a successor to today’s BMW iX3 SUV, which is also set to be produced at the Hungarian site.

The Debrecen plant is planned to boast an initial production capacity of up to 150,000 units in its first full year of operation.

The newly confirmed battery assembly operations form part of a €2 billion (£1.7bn) investment that BMW has earmarked for the 140,000m2 plant, construction of which started in May 2022.

The Gen6 batteries assembled in Hungary will be integrated into BMW’s new Neue Klasse platform, which is planned to underpin all upcoming seventh-generation BMW 3 Series models, including the i3.

They will dispense with the modular assembly used by BMW’s existing fifth-generation (Gen5) batteries for a new cell-to-pack assembly method.

BMW board member responsible for research and development, Frank Weber, recently revealed the new Gen6 battery will be assembled in packs of between 75kWh and 150kWh.

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