BMW ActivE Electric 1 Series Coupe with Zero co2 emissions

BMW is trialling this model and with its research it will inform future development and improvements for full scale UK release. They have done something with the throttle that can extend the driving range an extra 20%. I wish someone would do that with my car!

BMW ActivE - Electric Car

Despite being at the forefront of technology and pioneering breakthroughs in the automotive industry, BMW has lagged behind other car makers in the electric-power field much in the same way it lagged with turbo-charging, with the BMW X5M being the first car since 1973 (the BMW 2002 Turbo) to be boosted.

BMW Launches ACTIVe at Geneva Motor Show

At the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, BMW launched the ActiveE, which is based on the 1 Series Coupé and features three energy storage units where the engine once was. The BMW Group decided not to make such a big deal about the electric car. Instead it announced the car to be 99 per cent similar to the petrol-going version of the 1 Series except with zero emissions and no exhaust pipe.

BMW Launches ACTIVe - Handling

There is still the sublime handling from the 50:50 weight distribution, the agile rear-wheel drive chassis and the low centre of gravity, but with no noise from the motor. With 168bhp, the 0 to 60mpg dash comes up in just 9.5 seconds, which makes it one of the fastest mainstream electric cars on the market, and it comes with a 200-litre boot, too. The top speed is electronically limited to 90mph to preserve battery life.

BMW Launches ACTIVe - Energy

Using technology from Formula 1 cars, the ActiveE recoups as much as 20 per cent of energy from the motor regenerating power back to the battery as the driver lifts off the accelerator. The heating and the air-conditioning units work in conjunction with the amount of battery life and how much the accelerator is pressed. If the driver accelerates hard, then the heating or the air-conditioning will reduce the amount of energy used so as to give more energy to the motor.

BMW ActivE- Electric Car

BMW Launches ACTIVe - Appearance

The appearance of the 1 Series Coupe is almost exactly the same as the look of any other BMW, except for the bonnet stickers, the closed rear apron, no exhaust and sumptuous grey leather seats. The rev counter and the fuel gauge have been replaced for a battery charge and a regeneration metre.

BMW Launches ACTIVe - Charging

Charging the BMW ActiveE takes only five hours using a 32amp wallbox, which is one of the fastest zero power to full charge electric cars out there. If you're using a regular domestic socket, then it will take eight hours to charge. The lithium-ion cells have a liquid cooling system and steel plate battery housing, which help to maintain the operating temperature, which not only helps battery life but also helps increase the range, too.

BMW Launches ACTIVe - Safety

The housings exceed the safety standards for electrically powered cars, showing that the company is at least a few years ahead of the rest in terms of delivering a safely-packaged electric motor.

BMW Launches ACTIVe - Conclusion

With BMW taking the leap into the electric car market, and seemingly blasting the competition out of the way, it shouldn't be long before we see battery-powered options across the range. More than 1,000 ActiveE's are on trial in the USA, with full production due in 2013. On paper, the ActiveE looks as if it hits the mark in terms of clever gizmos and not looking as 'eco' as the already available Toyota Prius.

BMW ActivE - EV

More Electric Vehicle Options

Other Electric Vehicle (EV) options can be discovered on our UK Electric Cars List page.

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