BMW chooses SGL Carbon as supplier for iNEXT
BMW Group (Munich, Germany) has chosen SGL Carbon (Wiesbaden, Germany) to supply carbon fibers and semi-finished textile products for a range of components in its upcoming next-generation electric vehicle, the BMW iNEXT.
In addition to carbon fibers, the framework agreement also covers a number of different glass and carbon fiber fabrics. Delivery is expected to start in 2021 and will last for the vehicle’s entire lifecycle. SGL Carbon will be involved at various stages of the value chain. The carbon fibers are going to be manufactured at the Moses Lake, WA, US plant, while the materials will be produced at the Wackersdorf, Germany site.
“With this project, SGL Carbon is strengthening its position as a supplier of fibers, materials and components for the automotive industry,” says Andreas Wüllner, President Composites – Fibers & Materials (CFM) at SGL Carbon. “As far as we know, this will be the second largest electric vehicle series project in the industry after the BMW i3, in terms of the total volume of carbon fibers it is expected to use.”
The BMW Group and SGL Carbon partnership on the BMW iNEXT continues years of pioneering collaboration between the two companies in the area of fiber-reinforced plastics. The cooperation began with the founding of the former joint venture, SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers, and developed over many years through the realization of the first completely series-production-ready passenger compartment made from carbon fiber-reinforced plastic in the BMW i3, and innovative uses of the material in the BMW i8 and BMW 7 series.
A look at the process by which precursor becomes carbon fiber through a careful (and mostly proprietary) manipulation of temperature and tension.
All signs point to increasing demand from many market sectors. Will capacity keep pace?
Participants at CW’s Carbon Fiber 2012 Conference see one coming as early as 2016.