Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Posts Tagged ‘bmw megacity vehicles’

SGL and BMW to Build Carbon Fiber Plant In U.S.

Mass production of carbon fiber parts is an ambitious goal.

by on Apr.06, 2010

BMW intends to use expensive light weight materials in future "Megacity" vehicles.

SGL Group and BMW Group today announced today that their joint venture, SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers LLC, would build a carbon fiber manufacturing plant in Moses Lake, Washington.

During the initial phase, $100 million will be invested and 80 local jobs will be created.

The new facility is part of a strategy to commercialize the manufacturing of ultra light weight carbon-fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) for use in future vehicles. Right now CFRP is only used in ultra-expensive supercars, and the hand layup processes are glacially slow and defect prone.

However, as both carbon dioxide and fuel efficiency standards tighten all auto makers are looking to build lighter weight vehicles to increase fuel efficiency. Light weight is particularly appealing for electric vehicles because it decreases the demand on very expensive lithium ion battery packs thereby increasing range.

The fibers manufactured at Moses Lake will be used in  BMW Group’s upcoming Megacity vehicle – a new small car for urban mobility. Megacity is set to be launched before 2015 under the  Mini brand, and will be assembled in Leipzig, Germany.

Also known as project-i, the Megacity program will eventually produce both electric and internal combustion engine vehicles. CFRP is a relatively strong lightweight material but it has been considered too expensive for mass applications. CFRP also requires sophisticated design and analysis tools so that vehicles with it meet safety regulations, particularly crash standards. (more…)

First Look: BMW “E” Class Concept

This would be an electric version of the 1-series.

by on Dec.18, 2009

A range of 100 miles per charge is claimed.

A range of 100 miles per charge is claimed.

Debuting at the North American International Auto Show in  Detroit next month will be an electric version of BMW’s small four-seat coupe, Concept ActiveE.

The Bavarian company known for its performance sedans says the coupe is capable of  acceleration from zero-to-100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 9 seconds, with a maximum speed of about 145 km/h (90 mph, electronically limited.

The motor, specially developed for the model and located in the rear axle, delivers 125 kW  or 170 horsepower and provides maximum torque of 250 Nm or 184 lb-ft.

The real-world range world range of the EV is expected to be about 160 km (100 miles) on a single charge, depending on your weather conditions, and your lead foot. (Well, maybe it should be “lithium foot” these days.)

The FTP 72 cycle range (Federal Test Procedure)  is calculated to be 240 km (150 miles) in simulation, according to BMW. The cycle, which is stop and go, favors an electric vehicle since simulates an urban route of 7.5 miles with frequent stops. The maximum speed is 56.7 mph and the average speed is 19.6 mph – not exactly autobahn usage  figures.



It was the use of numbers derived like these that caused the hybrid mileage controversy when real results turned out much lower. Honda recently settled a class-action suit over such a matter. BMW is to be commended for its honest, data-based approach here.


BMW and SGL Form Carbon Fiber Joint Venture

Goal to produce advanced “Megacity Vehicle” in next decade.

by on Oct.29, 2009

BMW has formed a new joint venture aimed at producing future "Megacity Vehicles," like this concept.

BMW has formed a new joint venture aimed at producing future "Megacity Vehicles," like this high-mileage concept.

BMW has formed a joint venture with SGL Group aimed at developing and producing carbon fiber, a strong yet super-light material that the German automaker plans to use to build its so-called Megacity Vehicle.

Key to the $133 million venture is transforming carbon fiber from a high-cost specialty material used only in the most expensive, limited-volume supercars and making it competitively priced for mass market products, the new partners noted.

BMW announced the Megacity project at its annual meeting, last March.  Targeted for production sometime during the first half of the next decade, CEO Norbert Reithofer described it as “the first of a range of near-zero emission vehicles.”  Also known as project-i, Reithofer said the Megacity program would produce both electric vehicles and those with highly efficient internal combustion engines.

Your Hands Down Winner for News!

Your Hands Down Winner for News!

The first Megacity Vehicle is the battery-powered Mini-E prototype, of which BMW is currently planning to build and field test 500.  Eventually, such models could show up in the various BMW AG brands, including not only Mini but also BMW and possibly even Rolls-Royce.  Reithofer ruled out adding a new brand to the group.