Can SGL/BMW make it cheaply enough and without a lot of energy consumption per pound vs. past carbon fiber production efforts? [fimg=left]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/BMW_Mega-City_Vehicle_Design_Concept_Sketches.jpg[/fimg]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - July 8, 2010 BMW Megacity Concept design sketch – A lightweight, carbon fiber based all-electric platform. SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers broke ground today on the new Greenfield carbon fiber manufacturing facility in Moses Lake, Washington. The facility in Moses Lake is a fundamental component of the joint venture’s strategy to commercialize manufacturing of lightweight carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) for use in BMW Group’s future Megacity Vehicle. Carbon fiber technology is becoming increasingly important in the materials substitution process to lighter materials, which helps to improve fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions. During the initial phase of development, BMW and SGL will invest $100 million USD. 80 new local jobs will be created with an additional 200 for site construction. The state-of-the-art facility will be constructed on 60 acres of land. There is the option to purchase an additional 60 acres to cater future growth. The plant will initially run two carbon fiber lines, each with annual capacity of 1,500 metric tons. The first carbon fiber line will be commissioned in the third quarter of 2011. “This carbon fiber plant, the most cost efficient of its kind worldwide, is a benchmark in the industry. The investment in Moses Lake underlines our strong commitment to the State of Washington and to the United States,” said Andreas Wuellner, Managing Director SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers. “We are on the verge of a major renaissance and paradigm shift for the automotive industry. Now, a key piece of the Megacity Vehicle has a base in the USA!” “The decision to build the carbon fiber plant in Moses Lake was based primarily on the availability of renewable clean hydropower and competitive energy costs in the state of Washington,” said Joerg Pohlman, Managing Director SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers. “Favorable infrastructure conditions, existing utilities, a skilled labor force and fast permitting processes were also important contributing decision factors.” The carbon fibers manufactured in Moses Lake will be used exclusively for BMW’s demand, the first application being the upcoming Megacity Vehicle. In February of this year, BMW Group announced that this new vehicle for urban mobility – set to be launched in 2013 under a BMW sub-brand – will be assembled in Leipzig, Germany.