BMW will unveil a production version of the all-electric 1-series ActiveE at the Geneva motor show alongside its Vision ConnectedDrive concept.
The new two-door, previewed in concept guise in late 2009, will go into limited production of just 1000 examples.
Although the ActivE will be built in left-hand drive only, a UK field trial is planned like that of the Mini E is planned. Cars will be leased by participants in the trial.
Powering the 1-series ActiveE is the same plug-in electric driveline planned for the MegaCity carbon-fibre city car. It features a brushless electric motor, rear-mounted within the axle assembly and an electronic control package sited in the boot where it reduces luggage volume by 60-litres to 200-litres.
Energy is stored in three separate banks of lithium ion batteries – one in the space allocated for the fuel tank, a second inside the transmission tunnel and a third under the rear seat.
With a maximum 170bhp and 184lb ft of torque, the 1800kg 1-series ActiveE is claimed to accelerate from 0 to 37mph (60km/h) in 4.5secs and to 62mph in 9.0sec. Top speed is limited to 90mph to preserve battery charge.
Range is put at 100miles on the existing European cycle, or 150miles on the more flexible US cycle.
BMW has not divulged the capacity of the liquid-cooled battery pack but says it can be charged in four to five hours via a 380 volt charger operating at 32 amperes. On a standard 240 volt mains system the recharge time is put at eight hours.