BMW boss says the Megacity is “on the verge of revolutionising vehicle production”
18 May 2010

BMW boss Norbert Reithofer says the firm is “on the verge of revolutionising vehicle production” with its forthcoming Megacity electric car project.

Speaking at the firm’s annual accounts meeting, Reithofer confirmed that the Megacity will be launched in 2013 as a BMW sub-brand. He also stated that it will be built in Leipzig in Germany, although Wackersdorf and Landshut will also be involved.

“We keep investing in Germany as a production location - particularly in the field of future-orientated hi-tech,” said Reithofer. “That is BMW.”

BMW has recently agreed to invest £68m in a joint venture with SGL Carbon to build a carbonfibre manufacturing plant in Moses Lake, Washington, in the United States. The site is believed to have been particularly attractive to BMW because of the ready availability of hydro-electric power in the region.

“The assignment we have given ourselves from the very beginning is to develop a Megacity vehicle that will be a zero-emission vehicle,” said Reithofer. “And it will be sustainable throughout its entire lifecycle. Simply put, we are on the verge of revolutionising vehicle production.

“We will apply carbon and carbon-reinforced materials at a scope unprecedented in series vehicle production,” he added.

“Just name one competitor who tackles the topics of future mobility and sustainability so comprehensively.”

The Megacity will be a five-seat Golf-size family car - but the brand is likely to grow and include a range of models, including sports cars.

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Comments
10

18 May 2010

I saw “on the verge of revolutionising vehicle production” and expected to see that iStream had been signed up. There are lot of revolutions come up. Or is it just marketing?

18 May 2010

can we have a definitive response from the steel makers association please autocar, as you told us that electric cars need to be made of steel.

18 May 2010

Not sure that revolutionise is the word that I would use.

Perhaps "improve" would be more apt?

I'm also catching trace elements of BullS*** in relation to the hydroelectric power supply: I expect that (at some future date) it will be claimed that it makes the vehicle really green.

18 May 2010

[quote SpiritOfSenna]I'm also catching trace elements of BullS*** [/quote]

maybe you are, but it ain't anything to do with BMW's future small car.

Production of carbon fibre is apparently very energy intensive, and Washington State's low electrcity cost from hydroelectric generation in comparison to say Germany's industrial electrcity prices swung it for this BMW heir, Susanne Klatten(nee Quandt), owned business. That'll be the Quandts who originally made their loot in batteries for U-boats.

18 May 2010

MASS PRODUCED CARBON FIBER IS A BREAKTHROUGH. Much lighter and safer!!. Too bad so few understand this. MB gets it too. THis could herald the age of both the very fun to drive car as well as the car that allows you to survive in the off chance you crash badly. Good news and yes a very big thing. J

18 May 2010

What happens when you crash a carbon-fibre car? Do you apply heat and bend it back to the right shape , or do you glue it together again ?

18 May 2010

"What happens when you crash a carbon-fibre car? Do you apply heat and bend it back to the right shape , or do you glue it together again ?"

Thats an excellent question! Most likely the driver and his/her family get to live.

Currently around 40 thousand die each year in the US and a similar number in europe.J

19 May 2010

Electric vehicles are NOT zero emissions. Depending on where the electricity comes from and where they are made, they can be quite high emitters.

If a charging system is in place (a BIG if), I quite accept that electric vehicles can be a good idea in cities, just don`t lie to us about them being zero emissions.

Lanciaman

19 May 2010

Mass producing carbon fibre panels would be revolutionary, but I'm curious as to why BMW are only talking about applying it to the Megacity project. Does this suggest that the Mega city cars will be much more expensive than steel/ aluminium cars?

19 May 2010

Mass produced carbon fibre will still be Mass-ively expensive to repair following a crash until such a time that it becomes the norm in mass produced cars, thereofre it's fairly safe to say that insurance will be pretty expensive for these BMW's however, it has to be said that you don't have to look too far to see the benefits of using carbon fibre. If F1 drivers and the like can survive impacts they have at speeds only a Veyron driver will be familiar with then it has to be a good thing.

It would also be an advantage to get back to the days of lighter cars but we should still be able to have all the added benefits of not losing any of the kit we get today.

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