BMW to enter Electric Car Market with ActiveE Electric Car
Looks like electric cars will soon be entering the main stream, with major luxury companies such as Porsche and Mercedes having released or planning to soon release electric car versions. Well, BMW will soon be joining the list, having just launched their Concept ActiveE electric car at the 2010 Detroit auto show. The ActiveE electric car, built on the 1-series platform, will serve as the basis for a test fleet of BMW electric cars. Currently, BMW is running a test fleet of 600 electric Minis, the MiniE, with vehicles in the hands of private users. The Concept ActiveE is the next car BMW intends to test, planning an even larger fleet.
Starting with the 1-series chassis and body, the Active E BMW is fitted with an electric motor on the rear axle. A lithium ion battery pack is separated into two components, one near the motor and one under the hood, keeping the car balanced to a 50:50 weight distribution. The car can get about 100 miles per charge, and the battery pack reportedly takes 4.5 hours to charge. The car currently accelerates to 60 mph in about 8.5 seconds. The ActiveE is designed to drive very similar to the Tesla Roadster, which means that lifting the foot from the accelerator engages a generator, rapidly slowing the car and generating electricity for the battery pack.
Pretty cool stuff. Can't wait to see the improvements once the car is ready for full market distribution.