We would be remiss if, in the midst of this NAIAS coverage, we didn’t treat you to another video from the BMW i8 in Detail series. Last week, we shared the video about the i8’s design. Today’s topic is materials. Specifically: carbon fiber.
Carbon fiber has been popular for a while and is seeing increased use lately, but you mainly see it used for accessories and aesthetic uses, such as steering wheels and shifters. While it’s a very lightweight and flexible material, it’s also extremely durable and rigid when applied correctly, having one of the highest strength-to-weight ratios of any material used for commercial purposes.
That’s why carbon fiber is a perfect fit for the i8. Hybrid cars are often heavier due to extra components like electric motors and additional batteries. BMW overcomes the weight gain inherent to these additions by using carbon fiber prevalently in the i8. Thanks to the process BMW uses to manufacture the material, it’s also nearly 100 percent recyclable. All the more reason it should be used in a car that will redefine standards for efficiency.