We’ve talked before about how BMW is all set to bring to production its upcoming i3 electric car. Now there’s word the company has actually begun production at a heavily modified plant in Germany as it races towards a second quarter release next year here in the United States, among other markets.
BMW has sunk big bucks into its Leipzg, Germany plant to prepare it for the i3. Some €400 million, or $560 million, first started flowing into this facility back in late 2010, resulting in new structures and machinery as well as 800 new jobs. The total production network for the i brand of products
also sees key components for the BMW i3 manufactured at BMW Group plants and joint venture facilities at Moses Lake in the USA and Wackersdorf, Landshut and Dingolfing in Germany. The company has invested a total of around €600 million in the BMW i production network and generated over 1,500 jobs.
One aspect of production for the i3 is the first time use in automotive volume production of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic. The body of this electric car consists entirely of this material, making it reportedly both lightweight and durable. This helps to keep the vehicle at a reasonable weight in counterbalance to the extra weight of the batteries.
“We are making history with the BMW i3,” said BMW AG Board Member for Production, Harald Krüger, in a statement. “Not only is our first electric car about to hit the road, we are also completely redefining sustainability with regard to personal mobility thanks to groundbreaking technologies and processes.”
The BMW i3 will cost around $41,350 before tax rebates here in the U.S. when it debuts.