BMW ActiveE.

The BMW ActiveE marks an important step in the direction of emission-free mobility. The everyday usability of the electric vehicle will be researched as part of an extensive study in Europe, China and the USA from 2011.

The BMW ActiveE is a so-called Conversion Car. This means the battery, electric motor and power electronics are built into a bodyshell normally used for vehicles with combustion engines. In the case of the BMW ActiveE this is the BMW 1 Series Coupé. The vehicle provides four high-quality seats and 200 litres of boot space. The electric motor is located underneath this, directly above the rear axle. It’s capable of 125 kW / 170 hp and a maximum torque of 250 Nm from standstill. The BMW ActiveE accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in nine seconds. Its maximum speed is electronically restricted to 145 km/h.

The energy supply is derived from modules of lithium ion divided over three reservoirs. These are located where the engine, transmission tunnel and fuel tank in the ‘real’ BMW 1 Series. The cells are protected by a steel battery case and cooled by a liquid cooling system with a heat exchanger or warmed to an optimal 20 degrees Celsius in winter. The battery capacity allows a range of 160 kilometres – in everyday driving conditions, i.e. with the use of options like air conditioning or seat heating.

The batteries can be recharged wherever electricity is available. The built-in charger can be used with any charging station or current. A wallbox – a charging unit with 32 amps, that can be installed in the driver’s garage – can charge the battery fully in just four to five hours.

Like other BMW models, the BMW ActiveE also comes with a range of remote functions from BMW ConnectedDrive e.g. locking and unlocking the vehicle or using the parking heater to warm it. An iPhone app specially created for the electric vehicle allows the driver to remotely regulate the temperature of the energy storage devices and read or operate the charge controller. The driver can thus see the charging status, the current range, the remaining distance to the destination, home or available public charging stations on his mobile phone’s display.

More than 1,000 BMW ActiveE vehicles were used for the study of the everyday usability of electric cars. Data like length of routes, maximum ranges as well as charging time and charging behaviour is collected and analysed by BMW. The study is part of the BMW EfficientDynamics development strategy. The goal is innovative, vehicle concepts capable of being mass produced for emission-free mobility.