Wednesday, May 4, 2011

BMW Recruiting Engineers to Focus on Lightweight, Carbon-Fiber Composites

According to this report BMW is recruiting 40 engineers that specialize in carbon fiber to join the i3 and i8 development teams.

The photo above is the frame of the i3 during crash testing simulations. This further proves BMW's commitment to the extensive use of CFRP in their future models, particularly vehicles in the new i line.

The i3 will eventually have three variations. The initial i3, the one we have been focusing on here will be a three door hatchback that seats four and is scheduled to be release in 2013. Rumors have it that this version will be then offered with an onboard range extending, gasoline powered generator. A few years later, there will be a smaller two seat hatchback with a smaller range for inner city driving, and then a five seat, four door version that is larger then the original i3 and will have a larger battery with a range at least as great as the original i3.

BMW may be joining the EV party a bit later than some competitors, but they certainly have some grand plans for the next three to five years. This recent news about hiring more engineers that specialize in CFRP only adds credibility to their commitment to light weight, highly efficient electric and plug in hybrid vehicles. That's good news in my book.

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