Following the drastic effects of fossil fuels, car companies are turning towards other means to keep their cars on the road. Mini have become one of the many companies to create an electric model which should be developed into a production model by 2019. Not only has it taken on the technology of an electric engine but it has also used 3D printing.
The concept car follows the traditional “Mini Cooper design” but the BMW-owned company will ensure that its recognised as a fully-electric vehicle. Back in 2008 when the Mini E project was released, BMW managed to use the knowledge they gained and put it towards their i3 model in 2016. Not only can the technology and knowledge from the BMW i3 be incorporated into this electronic concept but also their finding from the Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 which was an emission-free car running on a plug-in hybrid drive system.
The concept does share various similarities to the standard Mini Cooper, with the both cars having a similar body shape. However, the concept car’s wheels highlights one of the main differences. Harnessing the power of 3D printing, Mini have created not only lighter wheels but also wheels that give the car a modern aesthetic. These aren’t the only benefits that 3D printing brings about, it also lowers the cost of production whilst speeding up the prototyping phase. By incorporating 3D printing, it can result in the car becoming more efficient using electricity due to its aerodynamics and light weight.
With Mini using 3D printing technology in their concept cars it shows how far the technology has come. Now, not only is it being used in sport (McLaren) but it is also beginning to become a part of our day-to-day life. The Mini concept will be showcased in Frankfurt at this year’s IAA Cars show.