BMW and Daimler join forces to design – of all things – an urban EV

Visio Front view

Autoblog Green is showing photos this morning of a car called the Visio.M which – as we reported earlier in the year – is a joint venture between BMW and Mercedes-Benz parent corporation Daimler. We never thought we’d see the day when these two German automotive juggernauts would ever walk side by side into a project together. But here we are.

The German Federal Ministry initiated the Visio.M project for Education and Research (BMBF) with a $14-million start up fund. We suppose now we know the price tag to get two German rivals in bed with one another.

The Visio.M is currently in the testing phase and exact specifcs aren’t yet known. From the outset, however, the project goal was to create an EV under 1,000 pounds and with a max horsepower output of 20.

In order to achieve these lofty, lightweight goals, designers had to fashion the Visio.M from carbon fiber, which is light and strong but also very expensive. The lightweight, however keeps the need for expensive batteries at a minimum. That’s nearly negated though by the inclusion of carbon fiber, which is virtually worth its weight in gold.

The Visio.M designers have found other clever ways to save weight in the diminutive urban EV prototype. Redesigning the anti-lock braking system, seatbelts, and drivetrain components have resulted in a 15-percent weight savings.

Looking a bit like a Holden Astra with the backend of the BMW Z4, we’re pretty fond of the plucky little EV so far. As soon more information arrives, we’ll be sure to bring you more. In the meantime, let’s hope the cost of carbon fiber drops significantly, which would make the Visio.M moderately viable in the marketplace.


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