The 2011 Geneva Motor Show will see
the world premier of the BMW ActiveE. Based on the current BMW 1
Series Coupé, the BMW ActiveE is the second electric test vehicle to
be created by the BMW Group.
With four seats and a luggage
compartment of 200 litres, the BMW ActiveE is the first electric
vehicle from the BMW Group to combine the space and comfort of a
traditionally powered BMW with a fully electric drivetrain.
Intelligent packaging ensures that the driver and all three
passengers have the same head, leg and shoulder room as they would
in a standard BMW 1 Series Coupé.
At the heart of the BMW ActiveE is
a powerful electric synchronous motor which propels the car from
zero to 60mph in just nine seconds, delivering 168hp and maximum
torque of 250Nm, from a standing start. While its top speed is
electronically limited to 90mph. The BMW ActiveE maintains the
dynamic driving style that is typical of a BMW, with a low centre of
gravity and 50:50 weight distribution to enhance traction and power
transfer of the high torque.
Replacing the engine block,
transmission and fuel tank are three large energy storage units
containing lithium-ion cells, developed in conjunction with SB
LiMotive. These modules are protected by a steel-plate battery
housing with integrated liquid cooling system, to keep the batteries
at optimum operating temperature helping to increase the range.
These housings also help to ensure that the BMW ActiveE meets the
same stringent safety standards as the BMW 1 Series Coupé, meeting
and exceeding the levels legislated.
The BMW ActiveE is engineered so
that when the driver takes his foot off the accelerator pedal the
motor becomes a generator and feeds the electricity created from
kinetic energy back into the vehicle battery, while at the same time
braking torque is created, slowing the vehicle down. This
recuperation of energy can increase the range by up to 20 per cent.
For the first time in a BMW Group
electric vehicle the BMW ActiveE features an ‘intermediate position’
for the accelerator pedal that results in the car’s own kinetic
energy being used to move forward, without consuming energy from the
batteries. In essence it is a ‘gliding’ mode. With previous
electric vehicles when the accelerator lifts the car automatically
starts to brake. To further increase the range of the BMW ActiveE
ECO PRO Mode can be selected whereby the drive configuration and
comfort functions are modified to use less energy and facilitate a
more efficient driving style. In ECO PRO mode the heating and air
conditioning system are programmed to use less energy and the
accelerator demands less power with the same travel.
The BMW ActiveE retains the dynamic
looks of the traditionally powered BMW 1 Series Coupé but with
circuit inspired graphics, a scoop in the bonnet and a closed rear
apron, with no exhaust pipes, to distinguish it. Inside Pearl Grey
Dakota leather seats with Blue contrasting seams, along with a
revised instrument cluster are the main indicators of the electric
drivetrain. Instead of the traditional fuel gauge and rev counters
the dials show the level of charge left in the battery and the
amount of energy being used and recuperated.
The BMW ActiveE is not dependent on
a specific energy source and so can be charged using 32-ampere
wallbox in five hours, or overnight from a conventional domestic
socket. This allows greater flexibility allowing the car to be
charged wherever there is an electricity supply.
Starting in 2011, a test fleet of
over 1,000 BMW ActiveE vehicles will be trialled in the USA, Europe
and China and will provide valuable insights into the everyday use
of the electric vehicle. The knowledge and insights gained from the
field trials of the BMW ActiveE will be fed back for the future
development of the Megacity Vehicle, due to go into production in
2013. BMW UK will be leasing BMW ActiveEs to select customers.
Further details will be announced in due course.