One of the main ways that BMW was able to make the new fully electric i3 city car so efficient is the use of carbon fiber. BMW is the first company to use series-produced Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) passenger cells in a production vehicle. The decreased weight of the body offsets the increased weight of the batteries that power the eDrive electric motor, putting it at a final weight of 2,756 lbs. The CFRP cells are 50 percent lighter than steel, but are easier to shape and have a higher strength. The result is a purely electric car that can get between 80-100 miles on a single three-hour charge. Expect to see the i3 hit the streets in late 2013 for a little less than $50,000.
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