BMW responds to Volvo with an electric 1 Series

BMW escalates the fight in the eco-friendly cars segment as it’s 1 Series has been converted to take on Volvo’s new electric C30.

The Bavarians from BMW have been working, like the swedes, on a small, electric, city car which you can recharge from any ordinary electric socket. The whole development programme is called “project i” and its second phase will be revealed at the upcoming Detroit Motor Show. The car is known as the 1 Series Concept ActiveE. That means that this all-electric 1 Series Bimmer will have to face Volvo’s C30 as both cars will be launched at the same event. However, even though both these cars are electric versions of small town models, don’t think that they are identical. The BMW for instance promises to be more sporty with its 170bhp and 184lb ft of torque. That is a lot even from a conventional car with an internal combustion engine. And, as always with electric motors, the torque comes almost instantly so the car can reach 60mph in less than 9 seconds. Don’t treat it wrong, this eco-friendly car is fast.

The range, BMW claim, is about 100 miles and it takes just 3 hours to fully recharge the batteries – a full 5 less than the Volvo. That is impressive indeed. But the changes don’t stop there – the new concept gets low-drag wheels equipped with low-resistance tyres and aerodynamic changes to help reduce drag. This car is really full of technology, although I think that is more showboating than actual testing for production purposes. For example, it has a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) as used in 2009 in Formula 1. Basically, what it does is it stores energy for the batteries while under braking – therefore charging the batteries and stopping you faster.

Like the Volvo, this project will be offered as a lease programme to customers as BMW prepares to put the car into production in and it is expected to make an appearance at the Paris Motor Show next year. Estimations say that, if put into production, this all-electric BMW would cost the same as the Mini E.

Source: Autocar

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