BMW starts production of iX1 in Regensburg. Also, all its German factories can now produce electric cars. By the year 2024, at least one electric vehicle made from Bavarian plants is expected to be launched in the market.
The announcement was made by Milan Nedeljković, a member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Production. The high-voltage battery in the BMW iX1 also comes from Regensburg. The start of production for the new BMW iX1 means BMW Group Plant Regensburg is now manufacturing all drive technologies on a single line as part of its flexible production process for combustion-engine, plug-in hybrid, and fully electric models. As part of a recent pilot project, the Regensburg plant was digitally mapped. The resulting digital twin enables highly efficient planning of future plant structures and production facilities.
The plant’s paint shop, for example, relies on artificial intelligence: Paint surfaces are scanned to ensure flawless quality and then finished using a fully-automated program customized for each vehicle. Artificial intelligence is also used in vehicle assembly at Plant Regensburg —specifically, AI-supported image recognition methods that assist employees with quality inspections. The AIQX (Artificial Intelligence Quality Next) computer system that is used for this learns to recognize objects such as a person from sample images, making it a useful supplement to conventional, camera-based quality inspections.
Predictive maintenance ensures that technical faults, e.g. in conveyor systems, are detected early before system downtimes can occur. Installations and machinery are monitored through automated evaluation of process data. By the end of 2022, the BMW Group will have invested a total of more than €1.6 billion in electric component production at its German locations in Dingolfing, Leipzig, and Regensburg. More than 3,300 employees currently work in BMW Group electric component production at those sites.
Apart from the iX1 being the first electric version of the small Sports Activity vehicle, its production at the Regensburg Plant means that all drive technologies of BMW are now manufactured on a single line as part of the plant’s flexible production process. BMW has also set its next EV milestone. According to Milan Nedeljković, a member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Production, at least one in three Bimmers coming out of its Bavarian plants will be electric by 2024.