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BMW's M3 coupe can be ordered with a roof panel made from carbon fiber, but the German auto maker has plans to expand its use of the exotic material. In addition to the upcoming MegaCity electric car, BMW is building a new plant on Washington state to manufacture carbon fiber parts. Carbon fiber is not only light weight but also incredibly strong, which makes it ideal for meeting safety requirements.

Speaking at the Beijing Auto Show, Ian Robertson, head of global sales for BMW, explained the benefits of investing so heavily in carbon fiber technology. "By using carbon fiber, which is a little more expensive but 30 percent lighter, you don't need as many batteries for the same range," said Robertson. "There's a trade-off that actually works."

Robertson also said that BMW "…will be the first manufacturer to take carbon fiber to effectively high volume."

More: Report: BMW To Expand Carbon Fiber Use Across Model Range on
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