Want to know more about the soon to launch BMW i3? This video is a nice summary of some of the key concepts behind BMW ‘s first all electric vehicle for the masses.
Consistent lightweight construction is especially important for electrically powered vehicles, as, alongside battery capacity, the vehicle weight is the limiting factor for the range. The lighter a vehicle, the greater the range, because the electric motor has less mass to move when accelerating. And in cities in particular, braking and acceleration phases alternate frequently. In addition to greater ranges, a lower vehicle weight also means lower power consumption and increased driving dynamics, and the battery can then be smaller.
Even for the manufacture and processing of carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP), BMW attaches the utmost importance to conservation of the environment and resources, and the use of a renewably generated power supply where possible. The BMW Group therefore has control over all process steps, from fibre production to the recycling of fibres and composites. This is illustrated particularly well by the ultramodern CFRP production chain, which starts in Moses Lake in the U.S. and passes to Germany in Wackersdorf and Landshut and on to final manufacturing in Leipzig. In Moses Lake, for example, the required electricity is generated in an environmentally friendly way from 100 per cent hydroelectric power, while at the Leipzig works the entire electricity requirement is met using self-generated wind power.