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I wonder how they may amend this vehicle if it succeeds?

With the MINI (bear with me, I know it's a pet-topic, but it's one I understand) they changed the design quite radically (to the trained eye) from the first generation, which included some rather radical and expensive pieces, to not only reduce production cost and complexity, but to appease the insurance market who didn't like the expensive payouts... the i3 and others will surely cost even more.

Or perhaps premiums will just be loaded ahead of time?
 

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Weirdly the quote says that carbon fibre is new and an expensive material, and says insurance will be cheaper because of the "snap on" plastic shell parts, not the carbon fibre.

It also seems to imply that carbon fibre can break in certain areas and the rest is fine, or at least not deformed... but can they "weld" a carbon fibre structural part together these days? What repair centres will be equipped and qualified to do this?

Sounds more specialised, complex and therefore expensive to me?

Along with the curb weight, CFRP is going to change the insurance and repair equations for the i vehicles. The material itself is expensive – no question – but Sattig said the complete picture ends up with a lower price tag. "When we evaluated carbon fiber, we started doing the safety, crash and repair concepts right from the beginning because just deciding on carbon fiber and then, when we're done, looking at [the details] would be a huge risk," he said. "Carbon fiber is, of course, a new material. Our dealers need to be trained for that specific repair system. But, if you look at the i3, if the car has a small bit of damage, someone hits you at a traffic light or bumps into you in a parking garage, you don't hit carbon fiber, you mostly damage the exterior plastic parts. They can very easily be replaced because you click out the damaged part and replace it with a new one. If you have a stronger accident, then, of course, carbon fiber will be damaged. The interesting thing is that carbon fiber is not deforming, so the damage only happens locally and it breaks only at that specific area."
 

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BMW have said insurance should be comparable to a 1 series and they estimate only 2.5% of accidents to involve damage to the CFRP shell (I've got some engineering pics showing the load paths which help explain why if you're interested, probably TMI o_O).

A couple more links on the subject.

http://articles.sae.org/12056/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring...336/BMW-i3-electric-car-the-inside-story.html

For what it's worth, I've had 2 insurance quotes so far and both have been just under £300 which I thought was ok.
 

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but can they "weld" a carbon fibre structural part together these days?
It's definitely possible, Boeing did just that with the Ethiopian 787 that had fire damage at Heathrow last year. They replaced a section of the carbon fibre fuselage. Although that repair, carried out in-situ, took two months and untold millions of $'s!
 
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