P90063248Munich, Germany – BMW will use a revolutionary passenger cell design made from carbon fibre reinforced plastic  (CFRP) in its upcoming Megacity electric vehicle to reduce weight and improve efficiency. The new vehicle is scheduled to come to market in 2013.

“The Megacity Vehicle is a revolutionary automobile,” said Klaus Draeger, member of the board of management for development. “It will be the world’s first volume-produced vehicle with a passenger cell made from carbon. Our LifeDrive architecture is helping us to open a new chapter in automotive lightweight design. Indeed, this concept allows us to practically offset the extra 250 to 350 kilograms of weight typically found in electrically-powered vehicles.”

The LifeDrive concept consists of two horizontally-separated, independent modules: the Drive module, integrating the battery, drive system, structural and crash functions in a single construction within the chassis, and the Life module, consisting primarily of a lightweight, high-strength passenger cell made from CFRP.

The company said that the new vehicle architecture also opens the door to totally new production processes which are simpler, more flexible, and use less energy.

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