Just a day after BMW announced its move away from hydrogen technology comes new of a new green-based project dubbed ActiveE.

Based on the BMW 1 Series the ActiveE is an electric vehicle using similar technology to that found in its Mini cousin, the MiniE, and will be part of a US trial where the vehicle will be leased to consumers in what the German marque refers to as a “large-scale electric vehicle test program.”

Unlike the Mini E, the 1 Series-based ActiveE is rear-wheel-drive and actually develops less power and torque at 127kW/250Nm – a curious move considering the car also weight some 317kg more (1,770kg).


According to BMW engineers have apparently worked to make the ActiveE’s synchronous electric motor’s torque curve behave more like an internal combustion engine – with thrust building as you approach higher engine speeds and then tapering off gently.

BMW is also claiming 0-100km/h times of around 8.5 seconds with a top speed of 145km/h, ideal for city commuting.

Range is expected to be approximately 160 kilometres with a recharge time of 4.5 hours using a high-current charging box. As on the Nissan Leaf, you’ll be able to monitor the electric car’s state of charge via an app on your mobile phone.


The lithium-ion battery pack was developed by BMW’s partner SB LiMotive, a joint venture between Bosch and Samsung SDI. It’s packaged in the location formerly occupied by the 1 Series’ prop shaft. Cargo capacity has also been reduced thanks to the electric motor’s position though cabin area remains unchanged.

The BMW 1 Series will be officially unveiled at next year’s Detroit Motor Show. There is no word yet on pricing.

  • http://www.motormo.com/ Rob

    It’s great and all, but hydrogen is still the future…

  • lazybones

    I was waiting to see what the great BMW was going to do with EV technology. But I wasn’t expecting them to reduced the torque. But at least they come to their senses and dumped Hydrogen in favour of a workable solution.

  • Old Dog

    Hydrogen is the future, but its a distant future.

    • The Real Car Fanatic

      here’s hoping it’s in Lazybones lifetime so he can swallow his pride

      • lazybones

        Ok, Since i have explained in detail why Hydrogen is doomed. How about you explain why it will succeed.

        • The Real Car Fanatic

          I’ve already done that. Currently it is far too expensive to produce, but with everything from Petroleum in the early 1900 to Carbon Fibre in the 21st century. Production was initially expensive, not so now, infact when the first Combustion engined cars appear, many people shared the opinion you have on Hydrogen. They were expensive to make, own and run, it was a toy for the rich that would never be mainstream. Now even poor people like you have a car.

          Intime Hydrogen will be the fuel used in cars, you’ll see.

        • lazybones

          Ok, so your entire philosophy is that, it will just get cheaper and somehow the laws of thermal dynamics will just change. Ok got it.

          • The Real Car Fanatic

            Show me one example in history where something didn’t become cheaper to make, process or develop with more research over a period of say 30 to 40 years? Something that currently exist that was once thought would not work Einstein? Let me answer that for you, never. Shame we won’t get to see you eat your words, just hide under your rock when it does happen.

            Enough said!

          • lazybones

            Your missing the point. The problem with H2 is supply. In the next 100-150 years all fossil fuels will be gone. Currently 80% of H2 comes from Natural gas. We will have no choice but power the planet on 100% renewables. Thats a big ask considering the growing demand on energy of the planet. The only option is to be more efficient not less.

            So to create a H2 supply for cars will require 3 times more energy (lookup Hydrogen Economy) than to do the same with electric or hybrid cars. Where are we going to find this extra supply? Fission is over 50 years away from supplying returns. If we were in a situation where there was a surplus of energy then i’d agree with you. But the reverse is true.

            “Show me one example in history where something didn’t become cheaper to make, process or develop with more research over a period of say 30 to 40 years?”


          • The Real Car Fanatic

            I said make, process or develop, not sale price for pure profiteering! And over the next 100 to 150 years fossil fuels will dry up, but look at how far we have come over the last 100 years! You even said yourself Fission is 50 years away. Hmmm last time I checked 50 years was alot shorter than 100 to 150 years.

            Shot yourself in the foot there bud!

          • lazybones

            “I said make, process or develop, not sale price for pure profiteering!”

            Clearly you are unware of the extensive processing that goes into getting a litre of fuel into your car. Not to mention the extensive seismic research that goes into find the stuff. And what about the development of cleaner burning fuels like Optimax etc.

            “Shot yourself in the foot there bud!”

            If fission is 50 years out, it doesn’t surplus electicity in 51 years time. Just to get the world on 100% renewables in 100 years will be a major ask. Your basic muppet understanding of the energy sector is priceless.

            Even if there was a magical H2 infrastructure available. The supply and price of H2 would be governed by the oil companies who you claim, quote “price for pure profiteering!”. What do you think will happen to the price of H2 if were to become mainstream?

    • Philthy

      Hydrogen requires a lot of energy to produce, compress and transport, and is very difficult to store. The range and charge time issues with batteries will be sorted out in the near future and there’s already a distribution and production network in place. On balance, battery EV’s are in front for now.