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autoviva2011-02-14 18:04:11

BMW ActiveE: next step to zero emission mobility

BMW Active E: next step to zero emission mobility

After the debut of the ActiveE Concept in 2010, BMW is unveiling at this year’s Geneva Motor Show the ActiveE, an improved version of the previous concept. Based on the current BMW 1 Series Coupé, the ActiveE is the second electric test vehicle to be created by the BMW Group.

Offering four seats and 200 litres of luggage space, the ActiveE is the first electric vehicle developed by BMW Group that is able to keep the same space and comfort of a traditional BMW while incorporating the electric technology. The German brand has ensured that both the driver and the passengers have the same head, leg and shoulder room that they would find in a standard BMW 1 Series Coupé.

The BMW ActiveE is powered by an electric synchronous motor that delivers a maximum power of 168 hp and 250 Nm of torque from a standing start. Thanks to it the test vehicle is able to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 9 seconds and to reach an electronically limited top speed of 145 km/h.

Where there was once a combustion engine, transmission and fuel tank, there are now three large energy storage units containing lithium-ion cells, developed in conjunction with SB LiMotive. While developing the ActiveE, engineers were careful to meet the same stringent safety standards as the BMW 1 Series Coupé, by meeting and exceeding the levels legislated.

As it happens with most of the electric cars that have been launched over the last year, the engine featuring on the ActiveE also becomes a generator when the driver takes his foot off the accelerator pedal. The electricity generated from kinetic energy is feed into the vehicle battery. Thanks to this recovery system, the range on the ActiveE can be increased by up to 20 per cent.

A new technology featuring on the ActiveE is an “intermediate position” for the accelerator pedal, which makes the car run on its own kinetic energy without consuming any energy from the batteries. An ECO PRO mode has also been added to the ActiveE in order to further increase its range. In this mode drive configuration and comfort functions are modified to use less energy and facilitate a more efficient driving style. For example, the heating and the air conditioning system are programmed to use less energy and the accelerator demands less power with the same travel.

Although it keeps the main looks of the BMW 1 Series Coupé, the ActiveE features circuit inspired graphics, a scoop in the bonnet and a closed rear apron, with no exhaust pipes, to distinguish it.

The BMW ActiveE can be charged on a 32-ampere wallbox, taking five hours. Batteries can also be recharged in a conventional domestic socket, giving the ActiveE greater flexibility.

BMW will be testing a fleet of over 1,000 BMW ActiveE vehicles from 2011. They will be trialed in the USA, Europe and China providing valuable information on the daily use of an electric vehicle. The data collected during the testing will be used on the development of the Megacity Vehicle, a model that should go into production in 2013.

Top Speed
90 mph
Maximum power
170 hp @ 250 rpm
Fixed-head coupé
Fuel consumption (combined)
annual ownership cost




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