BMW AG is teaming up with carbonfiber specialist SGL Group to provide lightweight components for its Megacity electric vehicle. Last Thursday, the companies said that the new entity, which is 51% owned by SGL, will build two plants in North America and Germany to manufacture carbon-fiber automotive parts on a "large scale" for the first time.
To those who are unfamiliar with BMW's Megacity car, it is an offshoot from the carmaker's 'Project i.'
It is created to develop new mobility concepts for urban areas with more than 10 million inhabitants. Very recently, BMW enlisted a Bosch and Samsung SDI joint venture to supply lithium-ion battery cells for the vehicles.
A BMW spokesman said that it will enter into a new dimension in the use of carbon-fiber reinforced plastics, both in terms of volume per car and in vehicle numbers. Currently, carbonfiber components are almost exclusively used in luxury cars and sports cars.
The joint venture will put in a total of 230 million euros ($340 million), 90 million of which will be in the build-up phase. SGL stated that production at the sites will start in the first half of the next decade but that the exact location is still unknown.