Jaguar Land Rover and BMW team up for EV drive unit

Jaguar Land Rover and BMW Group will work together to develop next-generation Electric Drive Units (EDUs) for electric vehicles (EVs).

To save money, the carmakers will use joint procurement across the supply chain and share research and development at BMW’s HQ in Munich, with staff tasked with further developing the Gen 5 power units.

The EDUs will be manufactured by each partner in their own factories. For Jaguar Land Rover this will be at its Wolverhampton-based Engine Manufacturing Centre (EMC), which was confirmed as the home for the company’s global EDU production in January of this year.

The plant, which employs 1600 people, will be the centre of UK car manufacturing for the firm and will build petrol and diesel engines as well as electric units.

The EMC will be complemented by the recently announced Battery Assembly Centre at Hams Hall, near Birmingham, in supplying electrified powertrain systems to Jaguar Land Rover’s global vehicle plants.

Nick Rogers, Jaguar Land Rover Engineering Director said: ‘We’ve proven we can build world-beating electric cars but now we need to scale the technology to support the next generation of Jaguar and Land Rover products.

‘It was clear from discussions with BMW Group that both companies’ requirements for next-generation EDUs to support this transition have significant overlap making for a mutually beneficial collaboration.’

BMW says the EDUs are the ‘most sophisticated’ electrified technology they’ve ever created. Its electric motor does not require rare earths, which the company says will allow them to broaden its range of EVs.

The Gen 5 EDU will be introduced with the BMW iX3 Sports Activity car next year.

Yesterday, car maker Ford announced they would be closing its Bridgend plant in 2020 due to a global decline in demand for petrol and diesel cars.

The plant has a large contract supplying Jaguar Land Rover with petrol engines.