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by Matt Brogan

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).

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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.

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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.




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