Sandy Munro, chief executive of Munro & Associates, whose firm specializes in reverse engineering for the auto industry, bought a brand new BMW i3 just to reverse engineer what he calls “one of the most advanced cars in the world.”
The $50,000 electric car is lying in pieces in a building of Detroit suburbs where it is been dissected and analyzed by Munro’s team. The information gathered from the reverse engineering process is sold to anyone who is interested to learn about electric vehicles, and in this case, BMW’s jewel.
The goal is to offer a detailed analysis of the costs and processes involved, right down to the individual nuts and bolts used. Munro decided to study the i3 at his own expense (about $1 million), and make his findings available for general distribution — for about $500,000 for carmakers.
During a walk-around with Forbes, Munro demonstrated some of the i3′s key innovations, including a carbon fiber “life module”, car’s suspension, battery and drive system. Munro is still crunching the numbers, but he believes BMW has designed the i3 to be profitable at a volume of about 20,000 vehicles a year.
In 2014, BMW sold about 6,000 i3 models in the U.S. and the sales projections are higher in 2015.
The video can be found here.