In BMW's efforts to make a practical electric car, the company introduced its Concept ActiveE at the 2010 Detroit auto show. This electric car is built on the 1-series platform, and heralds a small test fleet. At the show, BMW reminded us that the ActiveE is its second electric car test, after the MiniE currently being leased.
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BMW maintained a 50:50 weight distribution in the ActiveE by separating the lithium ion battery into two components. One sits under the hood and the other is over the rear axle, where the fuel tank would go in a standard 1-series. These batteries give the ActiveE about 100 miles of range.
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A single electric motor, designed for the ActiveE, powers the rear wheels. It outputs 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, hardly stunning numbers, resulting in an estimated 8.5 seconds to 60 mph.
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The ActiveE on display in Detroit showed a window to its rear battery module in the trunk, along with the power management module. The total weight of the car is 3,900 pounds. According to BMW, using a 32 amp outlet, the batteries recharge in 4.5 hours.
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The ActiveE connects to a smartphone, letting the owner see current charge level while away from the car. In the instrument cluster, a traditional amber speedometer sits next to a blue power gauge.
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