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Electric BMW 1 Series Concept ActiveE Revealed

Thu, 17 Dec 2009

The BMW 1 Series ActiveE Concept

BMW are ramping up their foray in to electric cars with the reveal of the BMW 1 Series Concept ActiveE which will show at the Detroit Motor Show in January, and takes the company a step further along the electric car line than the MINI E.

The starting point for public trials of BMW’s i-Project (for ‘Public Trials’ read ‘We’ll get the punters to suss the problems’) was the front wheel drive MINI E which is out playing on the roads in a limited lease programme in the UK, Germany and the US.

The programme has not been without problems including charging issues and poor range, but BMW are quite upfront about this being about seeing how the electric cars work in the real world. There are no pretensions that the MINI E is ready for sale, but it does look like the 1 series ActiveE is a fair bit more sophisticated than the MINI E.

The ActiveE gets an electric motor in the rear axle which drives the rear wheels (the MINI E is FWD) and, unlike the MINI that has to lose its rear seats to accommodate the battery bank, the ActiveE gets two banks of batteries – one where the fuel tank would normally go and one in place of the engine – and no loss of passenger accommodation.

The ActiveE has a real world range of around 100 miles, can do 0-60mph in 8.5 seconds (with a limited 90mph top speed) and will fully recharge in 3 hours from a domestic socket. BMW are intending doing a similar lease deal for selected users as they have with the MINI E, although we have no real detail on that yet.

There’s lots of waffle in the BMW 1-Series ActiveE Concept Press Release if you want more detail.

By Cars UK