Currently reading: Detroit show: Electric BMW 1-series
BMW 1-series Concept ActiveE packs 170bhp and 184lb ft of torque; 100-mile range

BMW has ignited the second phase in its 'project i' city car initiative at the Detroit motor show, with the unveiling of a new plug-in electric version of the 1-series coupe.

Known as the BMW 1-series Concept ActiveE, the new four-seater previews a zero-emission BMW that will to go into a limited lease programme for preferred customers in selected markets.

See the BMW 1-series Concept ActiveE pics

This will include the UK, where the new car is expected to form a major part of BMW’s recently awarded official London Olympics car supplier programme from late 2010.

Conceived along the same lines as the front-wheel-drive Mini E – the car credited with kick-starting the BMW Group’s 'project i' initiative - the ActiveE switches the emphasis to rear-wheel drive. It uses a synchronous electric motor mounted within the rear axle casing to provide propulsion.

With 170bhp and 184lb ft of torque, the brushless unit draws energy from two separate banks of lithium ion batteries – one where the fuel tank usually resides and the second in place of the engine.

Its strong torque sees it deliver impressive straightline performance. BMW claims 0-37mph in just 4.5sec and 0-62mph in less than nine seconds. The top speed, meanwhile, is limited to 90mph to safeguard the level of charge within the batteries.

BMW puts its latest concept car’s real world range at 100 miles – sufficient, it says, for the ActiveE to see to most urban-based motoring needs.

Recharging of the batteries is achieved via a standard power socket. A high-charge function provides the new BMW with a recharge time of just three hours at 50 amps/240 volts in Europe.

Following the example laid down by the Mini E, the 1-series Concept ActiveE also stows kinetic electricity. A generator provides a considerable engine braking effect on a trailing throttle in a process which, BMW claims, helps increases the range by up to 20 per cent.

Although the new concept car adheres to the look of more conventional 1-series coupe models, detailed changes such as the inclusion of low-drag wheels shod with low-resistance tyres, additional composite cladding underneath and smaller apertures for cooling within the front bumper have helped lower drag.

At this early stage, BMW is not providing too many details about the lease programme that it has developed for the production version of the 1-series Concept ActiveE, which is expected to make an appearance at the Paris motor show in September 2010. However, expect prices to mirror those of the Mini E, which is offered at a monthly payment of £550.

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FriendlyFisherman 11 January 2010

Re: BMW reveals electric 1-series

I'll try not to feed the resident forum troll(s) too much but I like the idea in principle. Yes this is not a solution that will work for many of us yet but this technology does need to start somewhere. 100 miles is ample of most of us, if that is a genuine 100 miles even now in the ice and snow with all the electrics running flat out.

As pointed out it is battery technology that is the key and thats not the fault of BMW as time goes by things will improve. I don't know if lithium polymer is ready for cars yet, my understanding is these things can be a bit nasty if not handled correctly, but battery tech will keep progressing.

We don't have a one car for all situation now, so why should this vehicle need to please everybody.

MrTrilby 18 December 2009

Re: BMW reveals electric 1-series

WooDz wrote:
Mr Trilby are you seriously telling us that you would buy a £20,000 car with a range of only 100mls?
Yes. I don't need a bigger range.

WooDz 18 December 2009

Re: BMW reveals electric 1-series

Mr Trilby are you seriously telling us that you would buy a £20,000 car with a range of only 100mls? Just because 95% of the time it would be driven far less than that and so could be recharged over night? My car is limited to 155mph and so far I've never driven it that fast. It has the capacity of 1200 litres loading space but I've never filled it to the brim. However one thing is for sure, when I need to fill my car up it doesn't take over 3hrs. I'm also not limited to just popping to the shops and taking the kids to school. Some may argue that Battery power is a technology we can develop. I say Bio-Diesel and celluloustic ethanol are energy sources we can use today and in the future that do not restrict the vehicle's usage. Yet for some reason governments would rather spend billions of our money on charging outlets for vehicles that do not exist?