Friday, February 11, 2011

BMW ActiveE: Production Version of All-Electric 1-Series to Debut at Geneva Show

The ActiveE is the production version of BMW's 2010 Detroit Motor Show EV concept of the same name and it will share the limelight with the Vision CD Roadster study at the Bavarian firm's Geneva Salon stand. BMW plans to build a test fleet of more than 1,000 units of the fully electric version of the 1-Series Coupe, and lease them to select customers in the USA, Europe and China. The ActiveE will serve as a test bed for technologies that will be incorporated into the into BMW's future electric models such as the Megacity EV, due in 2013.

Power comes from an electric synchronous motor that produces 168HP (125 kW) and 250 Nm of torque, good enough to propel the 1 Series Coupe from standstill to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 9 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 90 mph (145 km/h). The electric motor draws power from three lithium-ion batteries, which replace the engine, transmission and fuel tank.

To increase the driving range, the electric motor also acts as a generator every time the driver takes his foot off the accelerator pedal. The recuperated kinetic energy is fed back into the batteries and the system also creates torque to slow down the car. BMW estimates that this way the autonomy can be extended by up to 20%.

Additionally, the ActiveE also has a “gliding mode”, in which the car is moved just by its own kinetic energy, and an Eco Pro mode that lowers the energy consumption of the heating and air conditioning system, while the accelerator uses less power with the same travel.

The EV can be charged in five hours using a 32-ampere wall box or overnight from a conventional household socket.

From a design standpoint, the ActiveE is set apart from its conventional counterparts by the electric circuit-inspired livery, a bonnet scoop and lack of tail pipes. Inside, the seats are covered in grey leather with contrasting blue stitching, accompanied by a revised instrument cluster.

According to the manufacturer, the four-seater ActiveE offers the same cabin space as a standard 1-Series Coupe, but has a reduced luggage space of 200-liters.

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