AG will jump further into the electric-vehicle game with the launch of its Megacity vehicle in 2013.
The car, being developed as part of the German auto maker’s “project i” program, will be sold under a new sub-brand.
Earlier this month,confirmed it would build the Megacity but said only that the car would be launched sometime before 2015.
BMW will experiment with new materials for the car, including high-strength carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, which it says will play “a significant part in the materials mix.”
“Our Megacity Vehicle will be significantly lighter than conventional cars and, in terms of sustainability, will set a new standard across the entire value-added chain,” Chairman Norbert Reithofer says in announcing the plan on the eve of the Auto China 2010 show in Beijing.
“This vehicle will radically alter the motor industry as we know it,” he adds. “The BMW Group is currently the only company that will be launching a volume-production vehicle on the market that features carbon fiber-reinforced material.”
BMW launched a joint venture earlier this month with SGL Group to build a state-of-the-art carbon-fiber manufacturing plant in Moses Lake, WA, to supply material for the Megacity vehicle.
BMW already is offering an electric version of its Mini model in small numbers, including in the U.S. Fifty of those cars will be put in Chinese customers’ hands later this year, the auto maker says.