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CFRP will also make the BMW i3 more lightweight with extra space

BMW said the i3 will have lower repair and insurance costs thanks to the use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). 
 
According to a new report from Autoblog Green, the BMW i3's use of CFRP will make repairs easier because most bumps at a traffic light or a parking lot will only damage exterior plastic parts, which are easily replaced. But for bigger collisions that actually do affect the carbon fiber, the damage stays local to that one spot. 
 
"When we evaluated carbon fiber, we started doing the safety, crash and repair concepts right from the beginning because just deciding on carbon fiber and then, when we're done, looking at [the details] would be a huge risk," said Manuel Sattig, communications manager for BMW i.
 
"Carbon fiber is, of course, a new material. Our dealers need to be trained for that specific repair system. But, if you look at the i3, if the car has a small bit of damage, someone hits you at a traffic light or bumps into you in a parking garage, you don't hit carbon fiber, you mostly damage the exterior plastic parts. They can very easily be replaced because you click out the damaged part and replace it with a new one. If you have a stronger accident, then, of course, carbon fiber will be damaged. The interesting thing is that carbon fiber is not deforming, so the damage only happens locally and it breaks only at that specific area."


Sattig noted that BMW has already talked the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the insurance industry about the use of the new material, and they've decided to go with a "very low" insurance system. 

CFRP will also make the BMW i3 more lightweight with extra space. 

BMW officially announced the all-electric i3 back in July, giving the new vehicle a price tag of $41,350 USD. 

The i3 will feature a 22-kilowatt, 450-pound lithium ion battery, which will provide power to a rear-mounted electric motor. The i3 packs 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, allowing the single-gear i3 to accelerate from 0-30 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds and 0-60 mph in about 7.0 seconds. Its top speed is limited to 93 MPH. 
 
For those concerned about range, the i3 has an electric range of 80-100 miles, and the battery can be charged with a standard system in about three hours.

In October, it was reported that BMW may boost production of the i3 EV due to early demand. At that time, the automaker said customers reserved over 8,000 i3s ahead of the official launch in Europe. 
 
BMW has plans to sell 10,000 i3 units next year and previously announced that it would adjust build capacity according to market demand.

The i3 will go on sale in the U.S. during the second quarter of 2014.

Source: Autoblog Green



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RE: Deforming
By inperfectdarkness on 12/13/2013 2:36:16 AM , Rating: 2
Here's what I'm hoping for.

CFRP pieces/panels means that expensive tooling/die equipment to manufacture parts--is no longer required. It would be great if I could have my vehicle towed to a service-center & have them 3D print new body panels on the spot to replace the broken ones on my car.

I won't hold my breath on that, but it would be a terrific leap forward. It would also save MFG's money on having to generate large amounts of "spare parts" inventory and subsequently warehousing it until it was needed. I hope that someday, every component on a car--from a door panel to an engine block--could be 3D printed on demand by a repair shop.


RE: Deforming
By theapparition on 12/13/2013 10:47:55 AM , Rating: 2
No offense, but people need to come down to reality on 3D printing.

It only works where you can print and then melt those materials together. Plastic is obvious where you can get close, metal is possible, but not near the same strength as worked parts. Forget combining carbon molecules into forming fiber bonds, at least no process invented yet for that.

3D parts are no where near ready for most production, and they cost significantly more than reguarly fabbed parts. Gets me everytime i hear people talk about 3D printing like its ready to replace traditional manufacturing. Not going to happen in a long time, if ever.


RE: Deforming
By Keeir on 12/13/2013 2:16:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
3D parts are no where near ready for most production, and they cost significantly more than reguarly fabbed parts. Gets me everytime i hear people talk about 3D printing like its ready to replace traditional manufacturing. Not going to happen in a long time, if ever.


Errr... no and no. A few decades ago, it was the most economic to make forgings, then final machine these. Machining costs were high, material waste was high, and technical barriers existed. Now forgings are a relatively rarity, because despite the material waste, machining has advanced and material technology and processing have evolved to allow this..

Metal based 3D printing is advancing to the point where metal printed parts and machined parts have little difference in material strength. Costs have fallen dramatically. Often now, 3D metal printed parts would be cheaper overall to fab that assemblies made from traditionally fabbed parts. And 3D metal parts are in use already in multiple applications (especially military). Significant barriers to wide spread adoption still exist, but already parts are being designed in a wide range of industries with the intention of using 3D printing to make them. It probably will be 5-10 years (essentially 1-2 design cycles) to get widespread usage, because it doesn't make sense to replace already working parts and supply lines, but a review of the technology says we are nearly at the tipping point.


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