Business / Auto China

BMW ActiveE Project starts in Beijing

By Han Tianyang (China Daily) Updated: 2013-06-24 07:41

The BMW ActiveE presents more practical inner space and greater functionality that accurately reflects the needs of everyday commuting.

It is a pure-electric vehicle based on the BMW 1 Series Coupe, and has retained all the characteristic comfort and dynamic driving performance of the BMW brand.

It is equipped with a 32-kilowatt-hour high-pressure lithium battery that takes only four to five hours to charge through a 220V/32A power charger. Its average range of 160 km is enough to satisfy needs of daily urban commuting and transportation.

Though it lacks a clutch or gearbox, the car can still achieve driving performance comparable to a conventional BMW with a combustion engine. Its peak power is 170 hp and its top torque is 250 Nm. It accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just nine seconds.

When the foot is off the gas pedal, the car can automatically transform kinetic energy to electricity and charge the battery, potentially extending the range by up to 20 percent in an urban area.

The BMW ActiveE already demonstrated its advantages as a reliable vehicle with zero emissions when it cruised in the torch relay for the London Olympics last year and also during the Games, when it was used to shuttle media and athletes.

Like the MINI E, the BMW ActiveE will not be commercialized. They are both part of preparations for future mass-production models, including the all-electric BMW i3 and the plug-in hybrid BMW i8.

BMW plans to launch the BMW i3 later this year in Europe and bring it to China in the first half of 2014. The move will make BMW one of the first foreign automakers to sell imported electric cars in China.

It is generally believed that electric vehicles will not be widely used for some time because costs are high and there is a lack of infrastructure, but the Chinese government is strongly encouraging development in this field.

It has offered subsidies for local automakers and buyers to accelerate the process. The plan is to have accumulated production and sales of 5 million electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids by 2020.

The BMW ActiveE Project demonstrates BMW's commitment to promoting e-mobility in China, said Wu Yanyan, vice-president for Corporate and Government Affairs of BMW Group Region China.

And it will help the company better prepare the business model as it gears up to launch the BMW i3, she said.

Participants in the BMW ActiveE Project will have charging poles installed at their fixed parking places by the State Grid Corp of China and China Southern Power Grid.

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