BMW to extensively use carbon-fibre in future cars

BMW plan to use more carbon-fibre on upcoming models. Photo / Supplied
BMW plan to use more carbon-fibre on upcoming models. Photo / Supplied

German carmaker BMW has confirmed it is planning to make extensive use of lightweight carbon-fibre in future models.

A company spokesman said BMW had more carbon-parts models in the pipeline to join the new i3 electric runabout and the plug-in hybrid i8 sportscar. The Munich car manufacturer says orders for both cars are strong.

The news boosted the value of shares in BMW partner company SGL Carbon which makes parts from carbon-fibre composite materials.

Although labour-intensive to produce, carbon-fibre is much lighter than steel and aluminium, enabling cars which weigh less and are more frugal on fuel.

A report in Germany's Handelsblatt economic daily said BMW and the SGL Group planned to invest more than 100 million euros (A$152.62 million) in order to double carbon-fibre production in the United States from 3000 to 6000 tonnes annually.

Spokesmen from BMW and SGL Carbon said production was being expanded to tackle expected higher demand for carbon fibres, but did not provide details.

-AAP

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