carbon-reinforced plastics (CFRP) will play significant roles in a new line of BMW city cars designed to run on electric
will be launched under the new sub-brand in 2013-the BMW i3 and the BMW i8.
are based on a construction concept that BMW calls LifeDrive architecture.
chassis houses the powertrain, and the passenger cell is made of carbon
composite material, similar to the plastic used in the Boeing
have been designed specifically for their respective alternative drive systems,"
says Klaus Draeger, the BMW board member responsible for development. "We used
the innovative architecture and CFRP to cancel out practically all of the extra
weight added by the batteries. For our customers this means superior driving
dynamics combined with significantly increased range using electric power,"
The BMW i
brand comes from a BMW Group think tank exploring sustainable mobility
i3-previously known as the Megacity Vehicle-will be the BMW Group's first
electric-power only production car for urban areas. The BMW i8 is a plug-in
The BMW i3
and the BMW i8 will be manufactured at BMW's Leipzig plant. Close to $600
million will be invested in new plant facilities and some 800 jobs will be
created for the project.
vehicles will use the same component sets for the electric motors, power
electronics and high-voltage lithium-ion batteries.
venture capital company established by BMW, called BMW i Ventures, has the goal
to expand the range of products and services offered by BMW i in the long term
by taking stakes in innovative service providers. New York-based My City Way, a
mobile app, is the first company in which BMW i Ventures has taken a stake. No
terms were announced.