BMW MegaCity EV Hides Much Bigger Find: Affordable Carbon Fiber
When word of the BMW EV called „MegaCity“ first made the rounds, our Ed Niedermeyer called it “BMW’s long-rumored Neo-Isetta EV.” Now, BMW opened the first button of their electric blouse.
At a presentation in the BMW museum, BMW showed first MegaCity drawings. The sketches were shown by BMWs chief designer Adrian van Hooydonk, and by Benoit Jacobs, who’s the designer-in-charge for the project. Here is what Automobilwoche [sub] took away from the meeting:
- The car will be built from carbon fiber, 50 percent lighter than steel, 30 percent lighter than aluminum. BMW has developed a process that makes carbon fiber much less expensive than before.
- The carbon fiber is 100 percent recyclable and needs no painting.
- This makes the car 100kg lighter, which compensates for the battery, which would make the car 100kg heavier.
- The car will be launched 2013 under a BMW sub-brand
Affordable carbon fiber, something that is being worked on in Germany and in Japan, could be even more important for the future of the EV than battery technology. That battery is heavy, and ever since Newton made force, mass, and acceleration inseparable, weight loss has been the key to power and range. That carbon fiber story might be much more interesting than the drawings. The real car never looks like the drawing anyway.
According to The Nikke i [sub], Japan’s “Toray is seeking to develop carbon fiber products for use in high-end vehicles in collaboration with Daimler AG by 2012. Mitsubishi Rayon is teaming up with German materials group SGL to make materials used in a BMW AG electric car due out in 2015. A limited-edition Toyota sports car slated to hit the market at year-end will use Toho Tenax’s material. The Teijin subsidiary has approached several carmakers with a prototype vehicle whose carbon fiber composite use makes it 60% lighter.”
The Teijin process sounds most interesting. Teijin can process the material in just one minute. Their material is 10 times stronger and 75 percent lighter than comparable metals, says the company.
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- Dukeisduke I'm not convinced that the "software update" installed by Hyundai/Kia dealers on later cars without an immobilizer (like my middle daughter's 2014 Kia Forte sedan) actually does anything. I'm able to lock the car with the remote, which is supposed to disable the ignition, then reach in through an open driver's window, insert the key, and start the car. That shouldn't happen.I opened a case with Kia corporate two weeks ago and haven't gotten a response.
- Wjtinfwb I see all three backing away quietly and slowly. Between political winds and corporate green mandates plus the previously mentioned mandates, automakers will have to thread a needle between public demand and acceptance, and the extremely loud voices of the minority screaming for fossil fuels to be abandoned by 2030, which of course won't happen. Ford jumped in early with the Lightning and Mach-E, but since has tempered their enthusiasm and probably spent less money as the Lightning shares a lot with the gas F-150. GM however has built some bespoke platforms out on the edge that will end up being a gigantic waste of money. The Hummer EV is a joke and the new Silverado EV while impressive is both expensive and less practical than an electric version of the current gas Silverado could have been. The Cadillac EVs are the dumbest move yet, especially their upcoming 400k model. Ford seems to have a leg up on GM in Hybrid which would seem like a better interim measure, I'd be surprised if a Hybrid Explorer isn't in the works and could see a Gas/Electric Expedition and Super Duty being successful as well. US energy policy and gas prices into the next administration will play a significant role in consumer demand, if prices stay high and supplies artificially constrained, demand will increase for more efficient cars and trucks. If we go back to a self-sufficient energy policy and prices drop, demand for Hybrid's and EVs will moderate even more.
- Wjtinfwb Poor cousin to the Blazer & Bronco that dominated this segment. The 1st Gen Ramcharger was a much better and better looking truck, with the 440 available and without the AMC Pacer style real windows. The Bronco and Blazer felt and looked much more modern and cohesive than the Mopar's, and that's not saying very much. Probably attractive to the Mopar faithful but for the rest of us... No thanks at any price.
- Not Ford will have a great reckoning with its EV production goals. Their EVs haven’t been as popular as initially anticipated and have been dealing quality issues (persistent recalls on Mach E) or disappointing performance (cold weather and towing greatly diminishing range on Lightning).Their top selling vehicle remains the ICE powered F-series. Consumers will only tolerate so much price increase as Ford tries to subsidize the massive losses it incurs with EV production. Being forced to eat profit off of 2-3 ICE F-series to offset losses from a single Lightning will quickly prove to be unsustainable business. This is the very same company that abandoned cars entirely to focus on more profitable trucks.
- LYNN DELANEY Mine is a 2001 Pure White Miata. I bought it at Concord Mazda. I love it but Imay be about to get rid of it I guess. It's been in my garage for quite awhile. Why? 1. I don't have a lot of money (I'm a retired teacher) And I've had issues with it that require financing. For example when you insert the key and turn it nothing happens. Why? I got it at Concord Mazda and somehow. it came to my condo shared garage to die and has remained such to this day. If you want to experience it you put the key in the keyhole and turn it but silence ensues and you wonder why but you know it's because the key was "programmed and it worked when you brought it home but not since.I'm told it requires a new battery but I've not had the financial energy to deal with it. I love my Miata but will I keep it? I'm unsure. Next step? Install a new battery...When it came home from Concord Mazda it was perfect for a quick minute. I tested it. I drove it around my block in Oakland, California just one time. That was the end of it. Since them I'm told it needs a new battery. It's a 2001. Shall I go ahead and splurge?