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First look: BMW electrifies

Electricoupe: BMW has chosen the 1 Series coupe in which to debut its first all-electric drive system.

BMW provides a sneak-peek at its electric vehicle future with the Concept ActiveE

17 Dec 2009

BMW has revealed an electric version of the 1 Series Coupe, dubbed the Concept ActiveE, which it plans to debut at the Detroit motor show in January before putting into series production.

The EV concept is designed to demonstrate BMW’s ability to apply electric power without sacrificing the brand’s hallmark handling attributes, but could also preview the EV system that will power its future-generation MegaCity micro-model family.

Based on the four-seater 1 Series Coupe, the ActiveE concept is expected to develop into a fleet of test vehicles to evaluate the car’s real-world applicability.

The car incorporates a rear-mounted 125kW/250Nm electric motor driving the rear wheels and powered by a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack developed by BMW and SB LiMotive.

The latter is positioned in lieu of the engine up front, as well as where the fuel tank and driveshaft would be in the internal combustion vehicle.

With a total weight of 1800kg, BMW says the ActiveE 1 Series can sprint to 100km/h in less than nine seconds and provide a driving range of up to 160km. Charge time from empty using a 240-volt domestic power supply is claimed to be about three hours.

BMW says that initial testing has revealed the car’s range can be extended by up to 20 per cent, although top speed will remain at 145km/h.

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