Exclusive: Constrained Carbon Fiber Supply Slowing BMW i3 Production

Recently we’ve heard from sources in the know that there are are issues with the CF production at Moses lakes and it is impacting car building. Essentially there is not enough raw material coming in from Japan to Moses lakes due to the recent Asian typhoon. When there is no raw material the furnaces need to be shut down, cooled and then cycled back up- apparently this takes days and adds wear and tear. Even worse when a furnace goes down it takes a solid week to fix.

Beyond the CF issue there is also another issue impacting production. The leather tanned with olive extract isn’t able to be produced fast enough further slowing production. The results of these issues have pushed back some orders by as much as a month in Europe.

In other BMWi news the i3 will also see several updates for March production involving software and hardware for the REx option and an updated wall charger.

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  • Nick Dawson

    “Events dear boy, events”, is the phrase attributed to Harold Macmillan, the UK’s Prime Minister 1957-63, and makes the point that unexpected global events can ruin the best laid-plans.

    BTW, development of the i5 is progressing well, and it will be powered by hydrogen-electric fuel cell technology developed by Toyota. The powertrain sharing is the first stage of a BMW-Toyota joint venture aimed at lowering development costs and improved economies of scale on advanced alternative drive systems shared between the two manufacturers.