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BMW starts lean series production of BMW i8 Roadster with metal 3D printed parts

The BMW Group Plant Leipzig has started series production of the BMW i8 Roadster.  It is joined by the updated version of the BMW i8 Coupe in the line-up. Both vehicles are flexibly produced per customer demand in BMW Group Plant Leipzig within the same production line.

BMW had revealed last year that several thousand parts for the new BMW i8 Roadster would be 3D printed in metal, a key aspect to reduce weight and thus autonomy in electric or hybrid vehicles.

The BMW i8 Roadster comes with newly designed frameless gullwing doors made from CFRP with an aluminium outer shell. Underpinning this new level of electric driving capabilities is the updated version of the lithium-ion battery developed for the BMW i8. The high-voltage unit is located centrally in the car’s underbody. Its cell capacity is up from 20 to 34 Ah and gross energy capacity rises from 7.1 to 11.6 kWh (net: 9.4 kWh). The electric range of the new BMW i8 Coupe in the NEDC test cycle has increased to 55 kilometres (34 miles)* and the new BMW i8 Roadster posts a figure of 53 kilometres (33 miles)*.

“We are proud to produce another top-notch product at our plant. An important factor for that is the know-how and long-time experience of our employees in Leipzig with the production of electric vehicles.”

Liepzig Plant Director Hans-Peter Kemser

Since its launch in 2014, the BMW i8 is the world’s highest-selling plug-in hybrid sports car. Since 2013 the BMW i3 and since 2017 the sports version BMW i3s are built in the BMW i production in Leipzig. In total, 130 BMW i models are produced at the plant per day. The market launch of the BMW i8 Coupe and the BMW i8 Roadster starts in May 2018.

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as both a technology journalist and communications consultant. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he received his undergraduate degree. Specializing in covering the AM industry, he founded London-based 3D Printing Business Media Ltd. (now 3dpbm) which operates in marketing, editorial and market analysys&consultancy services for the additive manufacturing industry. 3dpbm publishes 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies related to 3DP, as well as several editorial websites, including 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore. Since 2016 he is also a Senior Analyst for leading US-based firm SmarTech Analysis focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets.

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