BMW and its partner, the SGL Group, plan to invest more than €100 million ($137 million) to double their joint production of carbon fiber to 6,000 metric tons a year, according to German news outlet Handelsblatt.
BMW’s new i3 and i8 plug-ins make greater use of lightweight, super-strong carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) than any vehicles to date. The company will also begin using CFRP in its new 7 series vehicles in 2015.
BMW and SGL formed a joint venture in 2009 to manufacture carbon fibers and fabrics. SGL opened a carbon fiber manufacturing plant in Moses Lake, Washington, in 2011. The plant now runs two carbon fiber lines, each with an annual capacity of 1,500 metric tons.
The Moses Lake carbon fibers are sent to Wackersdorf, Germany to be processed into lightweight carbon fiber fabrics, which are sent to the BMW plant in Landshut, Germany, where CFRP components are produced, ready to be assembled into new i3s.
Source: Handelsblatt via Green Car Congress