BMW announces carbon fibre electric car

BMW announces carbon fibre electric car
A sketch of the new Megacity Vehicle. Photo: DPA
Bavarian luxury carmaker BMW has decided to create its first electric car with a passenger compartment made of carbon fibre, the company announced on Friday.

The Megacity Vehicle (MCV), will be the world’s first mass-produced car made of the lightweight, durable material when it hits the market in 2013, BMW said in a statement from its headquarters in Munich.

“The goal: to offset the additional weight of an electric vehicle – typically 250 to 350 kilogrammes,” the statement said, referring to large batteries that the cars must carry.

“To this end, the BMW Group is focusing on the innovative high-tech material carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP).”

But according to the Financial Times Deutschland, carbon at €15 per kilogramme costs 15-times the price of the steel used to build normal cars. BMW sources told the paper, however, that the company believes it can cut that price by more than half, though.

Based on carbon’s use in aircraft and Formula One vehicles, the company expects to gain more than just a weight neutralisation from the material, the paper said. It also predicts major production savings and increased safety for passengers.

Carbon fibre is typically considered twice as strong and four to five times lighter than steel.

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