At this point, any automaker that is not working on an electric vehicle may as well either close their doors or desperately grasp onto the bandwagon as soon as possible. Eventually, all vehicles will be ceasing their use of fuel and BMW is one of the automakers that is embracing that fact wholeheartedly. The German automaker revealed their 2010 BMW ActiveE Concept at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show and the production model is set and ready to go.
Interestingly enough, BMW is not going to throw the production versions out on the streets just yet. Not traditionally anyway. The ActiveE Electric Vehicle will first be available for lease in select markets beginning in Fall 2011, following the same test fleet plan as did the Mini E.
BMW will set out a test fleet of over 1000 ActiveE models in the US, Europe, and China markets. The feedback from customers testing the MINI E and the BMW ActiveE will be fed directly into series production of the MCV, which the BMW Group will be launching under a new sub-brand in 2013.
Powered by an electric motor, the ActiveE develops a total of 170 HP and 183 lb-ft of torque and will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in less than 9 seconds. The electric motor will take its power from newly developed lithium-ion batteries facilitating a vehicle range of around 100 miles in everyday driving.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 BMW ActiveE Electric Vehicle.
The BMW ActiveE is based on the BMW 1 Series Coupe, but is distinguished by an Alpine White exterior paint with Silver colored, circuit-inspired graphic elements on an Electric Blue background. The hood displays a power dome which provides space for the batteries located under it. The rear of the EV gets a completely closed rear apron and, obviously, no exhaust system.
Other distinguishing features include the "ActiveE" logo on the back of the car and the "eDrive" logos on the fenders.
The interior has also been adapted for an electric vehicle. The tachometer has been replaced with an instrument cluster that shows the amount of energy being taken from the battery or the current amount being supplied to it through recuperation. When the vehicle is at a standstill, the needle in the middle position indicates that the vehicle is ready to drive, as the BMW ActiveE has no engine sound to inform the driver whether or not it is ready to drive. If the vehicle is not ready, the needle rests at the bottom left of the instrument. The “fuel gauge” below it indicates the battery charge level.
The Central Information contains an Drive display function that informs the driver whether energy is currently being taken from the battery or being fed into it through recuperation. In addition, a special battery information menu provides information on the battery energy level as well as the current and remaining vehicle range. During charging it also indicates the remaining charging time.
The ActiveE is powered by a powerful electric synchronous motor that delivers a total of 170 HP and a maximum torque of 184 lb-ft is available from a standstill. As a result, the BMW ActiveE accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in under nine seconds. Top speed is electronically limited at around 90 mph.
The electric motor uses the Brake Energy Regeneration: when the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal, the electric motor becomes a generator that feeds the electricity gained from kinetic energy back into the vehicle battery. At the same time, braking torque is created, which effectively slows the vehicle down. This setup allows the accelerator pedal to become a “drive pedal.” In urban traffic, around 75% of all deceleration can be accomplished without using the brake pedal at all. Intensive use of this recuperation of energy via the motor also results in a range increase of up to 20%.
If you’re interested in purchasing this vehicle then you are out of luck. BMW is only offering the ActiveE as part of a 1000 vehicle test fleet for lease in US, Europe, and China. It still may be possible to take part in the test, but limited numbers of test vehicles will make it hard to do so.
BMW isn’t looking to compete against other EVs in the market just yet. Instead, they hope to gain experience for their future series production of the MCV set to be launched in 2013.
This is the same exact path they took with the Mini E revealed in 2009. The Mini model features an electric drive train that produces a peak torque of 220 Newton meters, delivering seamless acceleration to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.5 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 152 km/h (95 mph). Compared to the ActiveE’s range of 100 miles, the Mini E has an autonomy of 150 miles.
Looks pretty cool for an electric vehicle
Not many people will actually get to enjoy it
Speed-seekers need not apply
Mini E has better autonomy