The immense amount of resources BMW has poured into its i brand program hasn't stopped, and recent developments indicate it's likely to pay off for BMW and BMW buyers outside the i brand. The i8 has already sold out its first year run, the i3 racked up 10,000 orders before it even went on sale and is already the subject of public discussion about being stretched into an i5, and a new investment in carbon fiber production has the automaker talking about CFRP use in non-i and non-M models.
Central Washington could soon become a future automotive hub, if BMW's vision of carbon fiber plug-in vehicles catches on. Standing next to BMW's upcoming i3, chairman of the German automaker, Norbert Reithofer, told a crowd of 150 in Moses Lake, WA that carbon fiber is key to the evolution of plug-ins. Reithofer stated:
Before BMW gives Americans the chance to drive ultimate urban commuter machines in the shape of its upcoming sub-branded Megacity EV, it will be giving them something else in high demand: jobs. The carbon-fiber that will be used to lightweight the vehicles will be made at a plant in Washington state by SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers, a joint venture between BMW and SGL Group. The location was chosen, BMW says, because of its skilled workforce, the availability of clean, low-cost hydropower and oth