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1 Series plugs in for the future

2009-12-17 10:57
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer BMW
Model ActiveE
Engine Electric
Power 125kW
Torque 250Nm
Zero To Hundred 9 seconds
Top Speed 145km
BMW’s ActiveE showcases just how close to production a zero-emission offering from the Werke is

Part of the company’s second-wave of ‘project i’ city cars, the ActiveE will make its public debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January next year.

Essentially a plug-in electric version of the 1 Series coupe, ActiveE is powered by a synchronous electric motor producing 125kW and 250Nm of peak rotational force.

Samsung skills, Bosch brains

The brushless electric drive unit draws battery power from two separate banks of lithium-ion batteries.

One battery set resides where the traditional fuel tank would be positioned, the other up front, in the vacant engine space above the axle.

SB LiMotive, a Samsung/Bosch joint venture, is responsible for the ActiveE’s lithium-ion battery technology.

Aerodynamically efficient wheels look very fetching indeed.

Rear-wheel drive

BMW traditionalists will be heartened to know ActiveE retains the company’s commitment to rear-wheel drive, with the electric motor enclosed in a would-be differential casing.

With the lithium-ion battery modules taking the place of a propshaft and engine, BMW says the ActiveE stays true to the company's hallowed 50/50 mass distribution principles...

Decent numbers

Performance is quite keen too, with the 0-100km/h sprint doable in nine seconds - this despite the ActiveE's rather portly 1 770kg battery addled mass.

In the interest of safeguarding range, top speed is limited to 145km/h.

True to its plug-in electric billing ActiveE boasts a rather limited real-world operation range (only 160km). For most European city dwellers requirements, ActiveE's imperial 100 mile range would be fine.

Lease only

Regenerative braking, low-resistance (and by implication, low-grip) tyres, revised cooling duct apertures and neatened under body air management all contribute to usher in uncanny levels of efficiency with regards the ActiveE.

Recharging, usually the bane of all plug-in electric vehicles, is accomplished via special high-charge function.This enables the ActiveE to render maximum battery capacity regeneration within only three hours from a 240v socket.

BMW aims to lease the ActiveE to preferred customers (probably celebrities) in selected markets after the production version is shown during September next year at the Paris motor show.


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