BMW Shows Off ActiveE Electric Vehicle Concept

BMW-1SeriesThe electric vehicle market is starting to take off with an enormous amount of research/money and many of the major automakers around the world working on hybrid and full electric vehicles. Hybrids are more common today than full electric vehicles because EVs typically lacks sufficient long distance driving capability for many drivers (not to mention the hefty price tag associated with fully electric vehicles).

BMW has been developing full electric vehicles and hybrids for a while. In August, BMW unveiled its EfficientDynamics Diesel Plug-in hybrid concept. The car was very sporty looking and offered impressive performance with a 0-62 mph run of 4.8 seconds. The electric engine and diesel engines combined produced 356 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque.

BMW also unveiled its Mini E all-electric vehicle and several of the cars came to America for testing in California. The Mini E has a 204 hp electric motor and promises an all-electric range of 150 miles.

BMW is now set for the next phase in its electric vehicle program and has unveiled the Concept ActiveE. The car is a modified BMW 1 series sedan that swaps the gasoline motor for an all-electric powertrain.

The vehicle will be premiered for the first time at the North American International Auto Show 2010 in Detroit. The new EVs will be fleet trialed much as the Mini E was with real drivers and governments getting hands on the vehicles for testing. The concepts behind the ActiveE will be used to developed n all-electric production car that BMW will sell under a sub brand in the next five years.

Power for the vehicle comes from advanced lithium-ion batteries that were jointly developed by BMW and SB LiMotive. The batteries will give a range of about 100 miles in everyday use. The new liquid-cooled battery packs charge quickly as well. On a 50 amp, 230/240 volt connection, the car will charge fully in three hours. On the circuits used in America, the car will recharge in about 4.5 hours.

The vehicle will be able to hit 60 mph in about 8.5 seconds. The maximum power output is 170 hp with 184 lb-ft of torque. BMW also uses a system to convert the vehicle’s kinetic energy into power and the system is able to increase the vehicles range by 20%. The car will also interface with an app for smartphones allowing the driver to check the battery level and start the climate control system to cool or heat the car while it is on AC power.

The vehicle complete with its battery packs weighs 3,900 lbs compared to 3,252 lbs and 3,373 lbs for a conventional BMW 128i and 130i respectively. BMW also points out that the battery pack doesn’t interfere with the 50/50 weight distribution of the vehicle and that the trunk is larger than that of the standard 1-Series convertible at 7 cu. ft.

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