BMW upcoming Megacity electric vehicle will be the world's first volume-produced car with a passenger cell made from carbon fiber, according to the company.
The automaker divides the Megacity's architecture into two major modules, which it dubs Life and Drive. The Life module consists of the high-strength, lightweight passenger cell. According to the company, by constructing the cell of carbon fiber reinforced plastic it is able to reduce the weight of the Megacity vehicle to offset the extra 550 pounds to 770 pounds of mass the heavy battery packs and other electric drive components typically add to a car without compromising the vehicle's crash safety.
BMW's Drive module consists of the battery, electric motor and transmission, and other components that are vital to motivating the vehicle--as well those vital to protecting the passenger in the event of a crash, such as crumple zones--all rolled into the chassis module.
With the Life module, the Drive module, add a dash of BMW's love of portmanteaus combined, you get what BMW calls the LifeDrive architecture, which the Megacity electric vehicle will be built on when it comes to the market in 2013.