Sunday, July 11, 2010

BMW electric car

BMW's electric city car of the future, i think.

Called the Mega City, it is a futuristic four-seat supermini which will be on sale by 2013 as the first step in BMW's vision of an electric future.
It has been developed to cater for the growing number of "mega cities" around the world.

There are already 130 cities with more than three million inhabitants each, and by 2050 a massive 70 per cent of the world's population are expected to live in them.
A group of BMW's top "out of the box" thinkers have been put together in a team called Project I to develop the Mega City, which will be the first of a family of electric vehicles.

BMW have been using data taken from more than 600 drivers of Mini E electric prototypes, including some in the UK, to improve the range of the Mega City. They have also looked at other issues raised by electric vehicles, such as attaining quicker re-charging times.

The concept is made of lightweight materials, including an aluminium chassis and a body shell made of carbon fibre re-enforced plastic that is as strong as steel but 50 per cent lighter.
The materials will help to improve the battery range to between 100 and 150 miles, but BMW are also developing a petrol generator to give some versions an extended range of over 300 miles.

The Mega City should also be fast for an electric car with good acceleration and engineers say with rear wheel drive it will handle like a true BMW.

Despite being a similar size to the two-seat Mini E, it is a full four-seat car. With no gearbox transmission tunnel needed, it has got a lot more interior space.
Inside sources say it also gets a very funky and radical new interior, unlike any other BMW, to match the striking exterior styling.

As the launch is over two years away, there are no prices. But BMW say it will have a premium price tag because of the technology, so expect something in excess of £20,000.

The company are creating a full family of vehicles that will use the Mega City technology, including the Mini brand.

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