BMW Concept ActiveE

The MINI E is already undergoing trials in the UK, so BMW’s next step is the Concept ActiveE, a rear-wheel drive electric 1 Series Coupe.

The BMW Concept ActiveE is the BMW Group’s second vehicle after the MINI E to be developed as part of project i, and is another field test of electric vehicles for private and selected fleet users.

The BMW Concept ActiveE has rear-wheel-drive, a powerful drive system for dynamic acceleration, and a high level of efficiency so it can be used beyond city limits. The arrangement of the drive components also makes it possible to provide four full-size seats and a 200-litre boot volume.

The BMW Concept ActiveE is powered by a new synchronous electric motor specially developed for this vehicle. Its maximum output is 170hp, the maximum torque of 250Nm is available from standing as is typical for electric motors and remains available over a broad load range.

For the first time, electrical energy is stored in a lithium-ion battery pack developed jointly by BMW and the co-operation partner SB LiMotive especially for the BMW Concept ActiveE. A new stable temperature regulation function optimises the battery pack’s performance.

Other characteristics of the drive technology used in the BMW Concept ActiveE are the weight-reduced construction and the package-optimised arrangement of all components. The electric motor is completely integrated in the rear axle, the power electronics are positioned above the motor.

Space is used for energy storage which in vehicles powered by a combustion engine would be taken up by the conventionaldrivetrain and fuel tank. With a weight of 1,800 kg, a low centre of gravity and an axle load distribution which is typical of a BMW, the vehicle promises dynamic driving properties and agile handling.

Predicted driving performance figures include acceleration from zero to 37mph in less than 4.5 seconds and from zero to 62mph in less than 9 seconds, with a maximum speed of approximately 90 mph (electronically-limited). As with the MINI E, the real-world range is expected to be about 100 miles on a single charge, depending on conditions.

Flexible charging technology enables the lithium-ion battery pack to be recharged by a conventional power outlet at public charging stations or at a special wall box. On the European grid, the battery pack can be fully charged at a high-current power outlet (50 ampere) in as little as three hours. In North America, using a high-current (32 ampere continuous) residential wall box, the charge time is about 4.5 hours.

The BMW Concept ActiveE has new BMW ConnectedDrive services which include specific remote functions which enable the use of a mobile phone to check the charge status of the battery, search for public charging stations and activate the vehicle’s auxiliary heating and air conditioning functions.