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Electromobility BMW iX3 - E-Drive Housings Manufactured Exclusively in Steyr

Editor: Nicole Kareta

The BMW Group plant in Steyr is strengthening its position as a major location for electromobility. The world's largest engine plant of the BMW Group exclusively produces all the e-drive housings of the new BMW iX3. What exactly is so special about it?

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The BMW iX3 is already the third model in the BMW Group and the first in the BMW X series to be powered fully electrically.
The BMW iX3 is already the third model in the BMW Group and the first in the BMW X series to be powered fully electrically.
(Source: BMW Group)

The special feature of the new e-drive housing is that the electric motor, transmission and power electronics are combined in a new, separate e-drive component. The housing saves valuable installation space and, thanks to its modular design, is scalable. This means that different sizes and power stages can be produced on one line. The annual production capacity is to be increased to 460,000 units by 2025.

This is how the new e-drive housing for the BMW iX3 looks like.
This is how the new e-drive housing for the BMW iX3 looks like.
(Source: BMW Group Werk Steyr)

Mechanical Competence in Steyr

The approximately 22 kg housing is unique due to its design. It combines the entire drive technology with electric machine, gearbox and inverter electronics in one component. The metal casting is produced at the BMW Group plant in Landshut. The BMW Group plant in Steyr carries out the mechanical processing. In addition to the compact installation space, the housing impresses with its design as a modular product system. There are five different housing variants that are produced on one production line. This means that the various requirement profiles and customer wishes can be met precisely.

Sustainable Investments in Electric Mobility

The BMW iX3 is already the third model in the BMW Group and the first in the BMW X series to be powered fully electrically. As such, it combines locally emission-free driving with sportiness and with the comfort, versatile functionality and spaciousness of an X model. The debut of the new BMW iX3 is also the premiere for BMW eDrive technology of the fifth generation. With the latest versions of electric motor, power electronics, charging technology and high-voltage battery, significant progress is made in the areas of performance characteristics, power consumption and range. The components developed by the BMW Group will also be used in the BMW iNEXT and BMW i4 models from 2021 onwards. The BMW i4 will also be fully electrically powered and equipped with an electric drive housing made in Steyr. In several stages of expansion, the capacity of the e-drive housing in Steyr will be continuously increased to up to 460,000 units per year. In addition to the production of the housings, the Steyr plant also has expertise in the development of the new e-drives. For example, electric drives are precisely analyzed on an acoustic test bench. The noise measurements carried out here provide valuable information for further optimization of the components. The testing of the complete drive train is unique and very efficient in this form. After all, in many areas of application it saves the time-consuming and cost-intensive assembly of a complete vehicle.

BMW Group Plant Steyr: Future-Proofed with a Broad Product Range

With the extensive investments in electromobility and the series production of the housing for electric drives, the BMW Group Plant Steyr is further strengthening its importance within the global BMW Group production network. The plant plays a central role in the global drive strategy "Power of Choice". With this approach, the BMW Group gives customers the opportunity to choose from four different drive technologies: In addition to highly efficient petrol and diesel engines, these include e-drives and technologies such as the fuel cell. "We in Steyr stand for petrol and diesel engines of the highest quality. With the series production of the e-drive housing, we are now making an even more comprehensive contribution to the BMW Group's global "Power of Choice" drive strategy, so that we can offer customers ultra-modern yet versatile drive systems. We are also strengthening Austria as a research and development location," says Dr. Alexander Susanek, Managing Director of the BMW Group's Steyr plant.

BMW Group - Good for Austria

Research on efficient drives has been conducted at the BMW Group plant in Steyr since 1980. Engines have been produced here since 1982. During this time, the BMW Group has invested around 7.5 billion euros in Austria. Today, around 4,500 people are employed at the Steyr site. With over 1.2 million gasoline and diesel engines produced annually, Steyr is the number one engine location within the BMW Group. In total, the BMW Group employs over 5,200 people in Austria and generated sales of around 7 billion euros in 2019.

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