BMW ActiveE Concept, 2010

BMW ActiveE Concept, 2010


The BMW ActiveE Concept, the latest electric vehicle project under BMW Group's initiative to produce vehicles that explore solutions to minimize environmental impacts while preserving the kinetic driving experience for which BMW has long been known. The BMW ActiveE Concept follows the all-electric MINI E as the second large-scale electric vehicle test program to be conducted in the hands of interested customers.

The BMW Group presents yet another milestone along the way to achieving CO2-free mobility. The BMW ActiveE Concept provides a taste of a purely electrically powered BMW. Focused on the requirements of practical use, the study is based on the BMW 1-Series Coupe and embodies the outstanding agility and characteristic driving pleasure of the BMW 1-Series for the first time as part of an emissions-free drive concept.

With the world premiere of the BMW ActiveE Concept at the 2010 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, the BMW Group is highlighting the continuation of its research and development activities in the field of electro-mobility. The field tests with the MINI E as part of project i in the US and Europe have already provided important insights into the demands required of future production electric vehicles. As a second step, project i has begun development of a second trial fleet of electric vehicles based on the BMW ActiveE Concept. These vehicles are likewise intended for everyday use by private and select fleet customers as part of a large-scale field test. The insights gathered in the process will be fed into the development of an electrically powered serial production vehicle which the BMW Group will put on the market under a sub-brand of BMW in the first half of the next decade.

The BMW ActiveE Concept has allowed BMW to explore new vehicle packaging solutions and components which will be crucial to the success of the Megacity Vehicle. The intelligent integration of drive components within the existing vehicle package of the BMW 1-Series Coupe offers the opportunity to provide four full-size seats and a luggage compartment with a capacity of 200 litres / 7 cu ft. The motor, specially developed for the model and located in the rear axle, delivers 125 kW/170 hp and provides maximum torque of 250 Nm / 184 lb-ft. It accelerates the vehicle in less than 9 seconds from zero to 100 km/h (0-60 mph in approx. 8.5 seconds).

Innovative technology for sheer driving pleasure without CO2 emissions.

The BMW ActiveE Concept embodies a whole new dimension of purely electrically powered mobility. The dynamic potential and high torque of the drive system, along with the rear-wheel drive which is a hallmark of the brand, guarantees the characteristic sheer driving pleasure which is typical of BMW - but without any CO2 emissions. An impressive range of functions and a high level of suitability for everyday use are additional features of this concept, which defines electro-mobility in true BMW style.

Electric drive: emissions-free, powerful and compact.

The BMW ActiveE Concept offers the prospect of characteristic BMW driving pleasure without exhaust emissions. The requirements for electro-mobility with characteristic BMW properties are being created based on ongoing development in the powertrain. The latest outcome is a new synchronous electric motor tailored to the BMW ActiveE Concept. It offers a high level of efficiency, power delivery, and compact construction.

The maximum output of the new electric drive is 125 kW/170 hp. The maximum torque of 250 Nm / 184 lb-ft is available from a standstill as is typical for electric motors. The torque remains available over an unusually broad load range. Unlike asynchronous electric motors, the new power unit provides a relatively high level of torque even at higher engine speeds and road speeds; at increased load the torque is not reduced abruptly but decreases gradually. The torque curve at higher engine speeds is therefore much more similar to the pattern familiar from combustion engines.

Recuperation of energy increases range.

In the purely electric powered BMW, the driver may control deceleration as well as acceleration through the movement of the accelerator pedal. As soon as the driver's foot is removed from the accelerator, the electric motor performs the function of a generator, converting the vehicle's kinetic energy into electric power and storing it in the battery pack. Intensive use of this so-called energy recuperation process by the motor increases the range by up to 20%.

At the same time, a brake torque is created which results in effective deceleration of the vehicle. This response enables a very comfortable driving style, especially at medium and constantly varying speeds. In urban traffic, some 75 percent of all deceleration manoeuvres are initiated without the need for the brake pedal. During Brake Energy Regeneration function, the vehicle's brake lights are illuminated.

The brake effect acts on the rear wheels only. When the driver requires a higher level of deceleration, stepping on the brake pedal engages the conventional hydraulic braking system. If an emergency braking maneuver is required during braking, the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system applies selective braking and motor management measures to ensure that safe braking is always guaranteed.

The brake system is fitted with an electric vacuum pump which is activated on demand. Along with the Electric Power Steering (EPS) familiar from the production models of the BMW 1-Series, these features contribute to an increase in the overall efficiency of the vehicle.

Innovative lithium-ion battery pack with its own liquid cooling.

The lithium-ion battery pack specially developed for this vehicle supplies energy to the motor and all other functions of the BMW ActiveE Concept. The high-voltage battery units offer a particularly high storage capacity and durability. For the first time, storage cells are used which were developed especially for use in automobiles by the BMW Group in collaboration with the co-operation partner SB LiMotive. Powerful battery cells are key when it comes to designing production vehicles with electric drive. Through the collaboration of the BMW Group with a joint venture of the companies Bosch and Samsung SDI [SB LiMotive], leading expertise in the area of battery technology and electro-mobility has been brought together. The aim is to use the best available technology in the area of energy storage as part of the development of the Megacity Vehicle.

The lithium-ion batteries of the BMW ActiveE Concept have their own liquid cooling system and intelligent battery management system, which are key elements in increasing both the storage capacity and the durability of the battery cells. These systems also ensure that the long range can be maintained largely independent of external climatic conditions. The high storage capacity is the decisive factor in achieving as long a range as possible. The storage system developed for the BMW ActiveE Concept enables a real-world range of about 160 km / 100 miles on a single charge, depending on conditions (FTP72 cycle range is calculated to be 240 km / 150 miles in simulation).

Innovative comfort features: auxiliary heating and auxiliary air conditioning complete with remote control.
In conjunction with the powerful battery technology, the concept of a purely electrically powered vehicle presents additional opportunities for the integration of innovative comfort features. For the BMW ActiveE Concept, a special heating and air conditioning system was developed which is supplied with energy from the high-voltage battery via the vehicle power network. The fact that the heating system and air conditioning compressor are electrically powered means that the desired temperature can be provided inside the vehicle even when it is stationary.

The driver can heat or cool the interior before a trip using the auxiliary heating or air conditioning system - an option which is available when the vehicle is connected to a charging station and the battery is fully charged. This ensures that the range is not reduced by the comfort function, but in fact increased. The reason for this is that the energy required for heating or cooling the vehicle with an existing connection to the power supply does not need to be drawn from the battery during travel.

The climate control systems developed for the BMW ActiveE Concept can also be activated via mobile phone. This option also includes a timer function so the driver can ensure that the vehicle is conveniently pre-cooled or pre-heated before getting into it in the morning, for example. Climatic pre-conditioning optimizes not only ride comfort but also the operating status of the energy storage system in the sense that it maximises the range of the vehicle. The control of the heating and air conditioning system by mobile phone is made available through BMW ConnectedDrive. The BMW ActiveE Concept demonstrates the extensive range of options for using these services with the full integration of a smartphone connection into the vehicle infotainment system.

Specific remote control functions via BMW ConnectedDrive.

In addition to the intelligent remote controlled operation of the auxiliary heating and air conditioning, BMW ConnectedDrive offers additional services specially developed for the BMW ActiveE Concept. The main focus here is on the user-friendly and practically oriented relay of precise information on the condition of the vehicle. No matter how far he is from the vehicle, the driver can obtain details of the charge status of the lithium-ion battery and the range of travel this permits. The remote control functions also provide support in searching for a nearby public charging station.

Design: unmistakably a BMW 1-Series Coupe.

The technology of the BMW ActiveE Concept is highlighted through unique design features. The BMW ActiveE Concept is unmistakably based on the BMW 1-Series Coupe, well-known for its outstanding agility and efficiency. With its powerful proportions, the BMW ActiveE Concept also embodies an especially sporty form. Its side view is dominated by the striking shoulder line and the short overhangs. In addition, the BMW ActiveE Concept boasts striking light alloy wheels which are aerodynamically optimized. The distinctive appearance is partly created by the concept-specific rear apron which is completely closed, demonstrating that the vehicle is entirely emissions-free due to the lack of an exhaust system. There is a recognisable differentiation from the production model of the BMW 1-Series Coupe with the body finish in Liquid White metallic, as well as graphic elements derived from printed circuits in Electric Blue on the hood, doors, roof and trunk lid, as well as the lettering "ActiveE", "eDrive" and "Efficient Dynamics" on the doors and side panels. The following elements also reflect the special character of this electrically powered vehicle: a blue illuminated charging connection behind a translucent filler cap, a glowing blue roof fin and kidney rods finished in blue. Blue rings on the tyres also make for a visual enlargement of the 18-inch wheels.

In the interior, individual details highlight the distinctive style of the study and are functionally associated with the electric drive. Among other things, the interior of the BMW ActiveE Concept has special leather seats with embossed graphic elements and blue contrasting stitching. The instrument panel and door trim panels have strips in Liquid White. The decor strip in the instrument panel is finished with a three-dimensional rear-lit ActiveE graphic. The blue illuminated start/stop button and the selector lever knob emblem in White/Blue round off the overall graphic concept. What is more, the instrument panel and the central display have been enhanced to monitor the electric drive.

Instead of the tachometer there is a battery capacity display in the instrument panel. The current charge status of the battery pack is shown in percent. There is also a second instrument which shows how much current is being drawn from the battery as well as the amount of energy being fed back into the battery from Brake Energy Regeneration.

In addition to the familiar features, the central information display also has a battery level indicator, an active system status display function and the positions of the nearest electric charging stations.

Inside the trunk, an illuminated plexiglass screen provides a view of the power electronics of the electrical drivetrain. The charge cable is housed conveniently in an additional storage compartment between the left-hand wheel arch and the power electronics.

A future-oriented technology which runs across all brands: electro-mobility as a mainstay of EfficientDynamics.

With the BMW ActiveE Concept, the BMW Group demonstrates the continuation of its project i research and development activities geared towards achieving emissions-free mobility independent of fossil fuels. For the first time, the concept of a purely electrically powered vehicle is combined with the characteristics of a BMW 1-Series Coupe.

The BMW Group is developing electro-mobility as an additional central mainstay of its EfficientDynamics strategy. Electric drive provides an additional option for individual mobility, alongside the ongoing optimization of the pure combustion engine, the market launch of BMW ActiveHybrid technology in production vehicles and the BMW Hydrogen 7 as evidence of the suitability of hydrogen drive for everyday use.

Project i brings together the BMW Group's activities relating to the development of production vehicles with electric drive. The focus is on the conception of a production Megacity Vehicle which fulfils the requirements of a sustainable mobility solution for urban areas, with one option being electric drive.

With project i, the BMW Group is carrying out a unique worldwide field test in the use of electrically-powered vehicles in everyday traffic. The MINI E, of which some 600 were produced, is currently being used by private customers in the states of California, New York and New Jersey as well as at several European locations. This pilot project aims to gather important insights into user behaviour, the requirements of the vehicle concept, its specifically electric components and the energy supply infrastructure.

The BMW ActiveE Concept creates a basis for the expansion and intensification of this field testing on electro-mobility, oriented towards enabling large-scale production in the future. The aim is to produce a fleet to a scale which will exceed that of the MINI E.

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