No stranger to the thought pattern of considering future mobile power sources, German auto company BMW has been very diverse in realizing alternatives to gasoline internal combustion engines. BMW-badged products currently available on the North American market as a presentation to new mobile power includes two turbodiesel models (the BMW 335d and X5 xDrive35d) as well as ActiveHybrid X6 and 7 Series can be chosen. Also testing the BMW Hydrogen 7 featuring an internal combustion engine running on gasoline or hydrogen fuel, powertrain technology focus for the German-based engineering staff is looking at the auto industry hot-button all-electric vehicle. Debuting at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, BMW is introducing the ActiveE electric vehicle with some big plans.
Built on the basis of the BMW 1 Series compact car, the BMW ActiveE concept transplants out the gasoline engine components with electric hardware. Motivated by a synchronous electric motor producing to equivalent of 168 horsepower and 184 pounds-feet of torque, the BMW ActiveE electric vehicle powertrain is configured for 50:50 weight distribution. Utilizing power stored in a lithium-ion battery pack, a liquid-cooling system insuring the electrical storage supply is kept at the best operating temperature. Through special voltage considerations, the BMW ActiveE is said to take 5 hours to charge the lithium-ion battery.
The BMW ActiveE concept is actually the second approach to an electric vehicle built on the BMW 1 Series platform. Sharing a vehicle platform with the Mini Cooper, a concept called the MINI E debuted in 2009 showcasing a compact all-electric vehicle. While the BMW ActiveE accepts many of the lessons of the MINI E concept study, the latest exercise in all-electric has engineers positioning the hardware in an even less obtrusive manner. Unlike the MINI E which could only be two-seater based on the lithium-ion battery pack placement on the rear, the BMW ActiveE retains a four-passenger interior plus over 7 cubic feet of cargo space (robbing less than 3 cubic feet from the conventional BMW 1 Series).
Converting from gasoline to electric drive, the BMW 1 Series dashboard gauge package has been reconfigured on the ActiveE model to more appropriate readings. Energy storage and usage gauges are employed to grant the electric car motorist a complete understanding of this new driving experience. Riding in leather seats pearl grey with blue trim, four occupants of the BMW ActiveE ride in relative silence. Driving habits of the BMW ActiveE is unique compared to other electric cars as lifting off the accelerator allows coasting with no power being drawn from the electric motor. In Eco Pro mode, the BMW ActiveE again favours efficiency with adjusting the climate control to less power.
More than a 2011 Geneva Motor Show concept vehicle, 1,000 street-going examples of the BMW ActiveE electric vehicle will be evaluated in the United States, Europe and China starting later this year. Feedback in the field tests of the BMW ActiveE vehicles will play a role in developing BMW’s upcoming Megacity Vehicle.
Information and photo source: BMW via Newspress UK
Video source: BMW via The News Market