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Crash your carbon-fiber i3 EV? Here’s how BMW will fix it

The use of carbon fiber in the frame of the BMW i3 has many worried about high repair costs. BMW gives us an inside look at why it won’t be so bad.

NEW YORK — The auto industry is a somewhat traditional one. Change tends to come slowly, and so whenever a major revolution comes along it’s often met with skepticism at the least, or at worst, fear. That has definitely been the case with the carbon-fiber frame of the upcoming BMW i3, made entirely of a material that’s stronger and lighter than steel but is generally considered unrepairable. In the world of top-level motorsports, where carbon fiber is de rigueur, the repair procedure is quite simple: throw away the broken part and bolt on a new one.

That’s not an option when it comes to something like the frame of a $40,000 mass-produced car. This has raised many concerns about the viability of the material for use “regular” cars, with people fearing that the machines will be impossibly expensive to insure and maintain. This, in turn, has spurred BMW to be a little more open than usual about its repair techniques.


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