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BMW confirms development of electric microcar

BMW has confirmed, in a statement by CEO Norbert Reithofer, that it is developing a tiny city car with an all-electric drivetrain.

BMW Isetta
BMW may revive the Isetta microcar which has been retired since the 1960s. Oliver Reichardt/Creative Commons reports that BMW has confirmed--in a statement by CEO Norbert Reithofer--that it is developing a tiny city car in response to increasing demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Reithofer states that the vehicle will be drastically different from any of BMW's current offerings and that it will be motivated by either of two powerplants: a small, efficient internal-combustion engine or an all-electric drivetrain with a range of 200 miles. The electric drivetrain will be created to meet California's requirement that all major automakers offer a zero-emissions vehicle by 2012.

Finer details are still up in the air. BMW hasn't decided whether the microcar will even wear a BMW propeller badge. According to Reithofer, "It could be BMW, Mini, or another name." While we think that an electric Mini would fit right into the brand's quirky image and probably make the most sense, speculation is that the "other name" in question could signal the revival of the Isetta brand, which has been retired since the 1960s.