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      09-18-2013, 08:57 AM   #1
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Post BMW i3 Production Begins, Launching Era of Industrial-Scale CFRP Manufacturing

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BMW i3 Production Begins, Launching Era of Industrial-Scale Carbon Fiber Manufacturing
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A new era dawns: BMW Group begins series production of the BMW i3 electric car in Leipzig. / Industrial-scale manufacture of CFRP makes its debut in the car industry.

September 18, 2013

Leipzig/Munich.
The BMW Group entered a new era in automotive construction today with the start of series production of the BMW i3. The world’s first premium electric vehicle to be purpose-designed for this form of drive system is the result of an all-encompassing development approach targeted at reducing fuel consumption and emissions in urban areas. Exceptionally high standards of sustainability and resource efficiency have also been achieved in the selection of materials and production processes employed. This is the first time that carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) has been used in automotive volume production. The body structure of the BMW i3 consists entirely of this extremely lightweight and durable material, allowing the extra weight of the batteries for the electric drive system to be cancelled out. By industrialising the manufacturing process for CFRP, the BMW Group has become the first company worldwide to make its use in vehicle production economically viable.

At the Leipzig plant alone, some €400 million has been invested in new structures and machinery for the production of BMW i models and 800 new jobs have been created. The production network for BMW i also sees key components for the BMW i3 manufactured at BMW Group plants and joint venture facilities at Moses Lake in the USA and Wackersdorf, Landshut and Dingolfing in Germany. The company has invested a total of around €600 million in the BMW i production network and generated over 1,500 jobs.

Series production of the BMW i3 got under way today in the presence of the Minister President of the state of Saxony, Stanislaw Tillich, Mayor of Leipzig, Burkhard Jung, and BMW AG Board Member for Production, Harald Krüger. The first BMW i3 off the line has been recruited as the lead car for the International Berlin Marathon on 29 September and was handed over to German marathon runner Jan Fitschen. Deliveries of the BMW i3 to customers in Germany and other European countries will begin in November, with the car’s launch in the USA, China and other markets to follow in early 2014.

“Today represents a milestone in our company’s development,” said BMW production chief Krüger. “We are making history with the BMW i3. Not only is our first electric car about to hit the road, we are also completely redefining sustainability with regard to personal mobility thanks to groundbreaking technologies and processes.” Indeed, the entire value chain is firmly committed to sustainability and efficiency: “We require 50% less energy and 70% less water, and source the electric energy for production of the BMW i models CO2-free from the wind turbines at the plant,” added Krüger. This huge reduction in energy and water consumption can be attributed primarily to the elimination of the traditional painting process for steel and aluminium bodies.

Stanislaw Tillich was delighted that this new chapter in automotive history would be written in the federal state he heads: “I’m proud that, in BMW, we have such an innovative carmaker here in Saxony and that BMW is building the i3 at its plant here in Leipzig. This proves that Saxony is an attractive location in terms of its research and educational institutions, its infrastructure and, most importantly, its highly qualified and motivated people.”

Leipzig’s mayor Burkhard Jung concurred: “The BMW plant has been a boon for our city from the beginning and continues to act as a growth engine for jobs. With BMW also basing production of its electric vehicles here, the prospects for the local area are extremely healthy.”

BMW i3 Begins Production at Leipzig




This set of videos explain much about the philosophies and technologies behind the BMW i3 (and i8), as well as BMW's commitment and investment in mass producing carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), which will eventually be used extensively in regular BMW models, such as the next gen 2016 7 Series (G11).



The protective external skin:





Lightweight for a dynamic experience:





Carbon fiber from renewable energy:





Carbon fiber sustainable series production:





Safe zero emissions:





The sustainable car:





Parking pleasure:





Driving range:





Car sharing:


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      09-18-2013, 09:06 AM   #2
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Awesome another BMW first
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      09-18-2013, 09:28 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by clbmw View Post
Awesome another BMW first
Current 1-series looks ancient next to it on the production line.
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      09-18-2013, 09:57 AM   #4
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wow, they are moving quick
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      09-18-2013, 10:04 AM   #5
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Whether you like the i3 and/or i8, this important thing to take from this is the use of CFRP on a wider scale. While the FXX chassis is still relatively new, I'm already looking forward to the GXX chassis where the CFRP will likely to be used.
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      09-18-2013, 10:19 AM   #6
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No claims please

I can see it now. Granny ran over a curb and cracked the body shell. Estimate to replace body with labor $32k. Total loss.
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      09-18-2013, 10:50 AM   #7
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Carbon is repairable. This sounds like the fear folks had when the NSX and A8 brought aluminum construction to market, now it's really not a big deal. The future is here.
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      09-18-2013, 12:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1230vani
Quote:
Originally Posted by clbmw View Post
Awesome another BMW first
Current 1-series looks ancient next to it on the production line.
Hmm, maybe the one behind it. I think we'll miss the weird looking F20 when it becomes a FWD
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      09-18-2013, 12:17 PM   #9
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employyes doesnt look happy are they well payed ?
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      09-18-2013, 01:20 PM   #10
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Awesome another BMW first
+1
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      09-18-2013, 02:11 PM   #11
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I would really like to see a video, (or up close and personal with my own eyes) of the start to finish manufacturing process of the i3 or the i8 preferably !
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      09-18-2013, 02:20 PM   #12
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employyes doesnt look happy are they well payed ?
They are working and focusing on the job.
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      09-18-2013, 02:21 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Judah View Post
I would really like to see a video, (or up close and personal with my own eyes) of the start to finish manufacturing process of the i3 or the i8 preferably !
You will.
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      09-18-2013, 02:34 PM   #14
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Heard this on Antenna Bayern this morning. BMW is bring the future to us, today. I look forward to visiting the Leipzig Werk soon.
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      09-18-2013, 03:14 PM   #15
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You will.
NatGeo's Mega Factories? Pretty please?
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      09-18-2013, 04:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judah View Post
I would really like to see a video, (or up close and personal with my own eyes) of the start to finish manufacturing process of the i3 or the i8 preferably !
https://www.press.bmwgroup.com/press...ocNo=PF0003634
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      09-18-2013, 05:11 PM   #17
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Hoping to see this carbon tech to be implemented in the normal line of cars with internal combustions engines particular the M cars.
Im in hope of much lighter sportier faster cars without those heavy batteries.

This would also make the cars with traditional drivelines more efficient on fuel than they are now.

Last edited by Holset; 09-18-2013 at 05:17 PM.
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      09-18-2013, 09:12 PM   #18
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Only got through the first 3 videos so far, but wanted to post how much I enjoyed the Moses Lake facility video.

I have never been into the green thing to be honest, but it's growing on me. I very much respect BMW for taking the green philosophy and not only producing an electric vehicle (i3) and hybrid (i8) but for doing so with focus on the green philosophy in every aspect of the production.

I understand one of the counter arguments against EV's has been regarding the use of not-so-green energy sources in the manufacturing process, thereby offsetting any potential benefits of the emissions gains, and it is quite apparent that BMW understands this very well and has taken truly serious steps to ensure that the sustainability philosophy permeates the entire production process.

Man, I sound like marketing for BMW, but seeing all of the work and development that has gone into the BMWi project is truly deserving of respect.

Mad props BMW, and good to know the source of the CF is good ole' US of A!
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      09-19-2013, 08:26 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nockenpaul
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judah View Post
I would really like to see a video, (or up close and personal with my own eyes) of the start to finish manufacturing process of the i3 or the i8 preferably !
https://www.press.bmwgroup.com/press...ocNo=PF0003634
Thanx for the link, great videos !
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      09-19-2013, 08:31 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddk632
Only got through the first 3 videos so far, but wanted to post how much I enjoyed the Moses Lake facility video.

I have never been into the green thing to be honest, but it's growing on me. I very much respect BMW for taking the green philosophy and not only producing an electric vehicle (i3) and hybrid (i8) but for doing so with focus on the green philosophy in every aspect of the production.

I understand one of the counter arguments against EV's has been regarding the use of not-so-green energy sources in the manufacturing process, thereby offsetting any potential benefits of the emissions gains, and it is quite apparent that BMW understands this very well and has taken truly serious steps to ensure that the sustainability philosophy permeates the entire production process.

Man, I sound like marketing for BMW, but seeing all of the work and development that has gone into the BMWi project is truly deserving of respect.

Mad props BMW, and good to know the source of the CF is good ole' US of A!
People throw the words "game changer" around pretty willy nilly but this time it holds true. BMW changed the game and put themselves well ahead of the competition. Proprietary carbon clothe, WOW !

This is a well thought out and executed plan with more to come I'm sure.
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      09-19-2013, 08:32 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCOTT26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judah View Post
I would really like to see a video, (or up close and personal with my own eyes) of the start to finish manufacturing process of the i3 or the i8 preferably !
You will.
Does this mean an all expense paid trip to the factory to see it with my own eyes..... ;-)
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      09-20-2013, 06:49 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judah View Post
I would really like to see a video, (or up close and personal with my own eyes) of the start to finish manufacturing process of the i3 or the i8 preferably !
Here's the first video of a series.
Looks like the videos that have been split up on the BMW press page.
It's about 23 minutes and it's as detailed as I've seen about the CFRP production and battery production.
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