BMW and Peugeot hook up for a hybrid drivetrain

February 3rd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

After months of “are they really a couple” rumours BMW and PSA Peugeot Citroen have officially hopped into bed together to work on a hybrid drivetrain.

Building all the systems and hardware that goes into crafting a hybrid drivetrain can be highly expensive so the two Automotive heavyweights have joined forces. The companies are set to partner up on everything from battery packs and generators to software and chargers. However the main goal of the corporate marriage is to build an open European hybrid platform which will give them a little bit of structure and an edge in the upcoming electrified battle.

The joint venture is expected to get under way in the next few months, and BMW says that the first products to make use of the new technology will be on roads by 2014 at the earliest. According to reports, the very first vehicles to carry the new-age hybrid gear under its bonnet will likely be the Mini Countryman or a Countryman-based model.

BMW announces Megacity electric vehicle for 2013

April 27th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

BMW has been using the Beijing International Auto Show to inform the medial and public about its upcoming line of Megacity electric vehicles. The PR blitz is timely as BMW prepares to embark on the Chinese section of its Mini E test phase.

50 keen customers in China are scheduled to begin testing the all-electric version of the Mini Cooper later this year, while others will get the chance to test a fleet of cars based on the BMW ActiveE Concept in 2011 (pictured).

This second vehicle under the Project i campaign will provide important test results for the Megacity Vehicle, which will come to the global market in 2013.  One of the major development challenges for BMW is engineering the car so that despite a heavy set of batteries, it will have a weight lower than vehicles already on the market.

The lower the weight, the further the all-electric vehicle can travel on a single charge. For the Megacity, BMW is planning on plenty of lightweight materials including carbon fiber-reinforced plastic throughout the car.  This should translate to a longer range than the current 160-km range on the ActiveE.

Many are predicting that ‘Megacity’ will become a new sub-brand for BMW that, if successful, could become its own division.  For now, the electric car is being developed under project i, and will be manufactured in Leipzig, Germany.

Mini E electric car

December 15th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

A Mini with no engine sound

MINI goes electric

October 21st, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

Mini Electric fq

BMW have been making noise about introducing an electric version of its MINI for a while now, and photos of the special vehicle have just been released.

Equipped with a 572-pound lithium ion battery of unknown capacity, the MINI should have a range of 240km after an 8-hour charge. Its electric heart puts out 204-horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque, which will be enough to get the MINI going well. The run to 100 should take a little over 8-seconds and the top speed has been limited to 150kph.

The entire car weighs in at 1,450 pounds and regenerative braking is used to extend its range. Body modifications are minimal, with unique badges and paint separating the E from its gas-powered siblings. On the inside, the gagues have been switched up, with a multi-function unit in front of the driver, though the speedometer is still front and center in the middle of the dash. The MINI E will go on show officially next month at the LA Auto Show.