Electric

It's not a wild flight of supercar fancy like the Vision EfficientDynamics; rather it's a sensible shoes step in BMW's electric car game plan.

The Concept ActiveE electric car is based on the 1-Series coupe and like the Mini E before it the intention is to make this car ready for field trials. In the longer term, BMW is planning to launch a production electric car during the first half of the next decade.

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Trial time

BMW will reveal its ActiveE concept car at the 2010 Detroit Motor Show in January. It's expected that, like the Mini E, the ActiveE's field trials will be carried out in Europe and the US.

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Under the skin, part I

1. Control electronics
2. High voltage cable
3. Battery — tunnel module
4. Battery — rear module

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Under the skin, part II

1. Control electronics
2. High voltage cable
3. Transmission
4. Electric motor

The rear-mounted electric engine generates 125kW of power and 250Nm of torque, allowing the ActiveE to race from zero to 100km/h in under nine seconds. The car's top speed is electronically limited to 145km/h.

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How far?

BMW estimates the ActiveE's range to be about 160km, with a full recharge taking three hours from a 50-amp 240V wall box.

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Blue hotel

Blue is the theme for the ActiveE, with a blue backlit power gauge displacing the traditional red-lit tachometer.

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Boot it up

Because of the rear-mounted Lithium-ion batteries and electric motor, boot space is cut to about 200 litres.

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Ow, my kidneys

The blue theme even stretches to the vertical bars on the ActiveE's kidney grille.

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You drive iDrive, part I

The ActiveE's iDrive system can show you wonderful bar graphs of battery usage (top), as well as where your power's going to or coming from (bottom).

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You drive iDrive, part II

iDrive can also display battery status (top) and nearby charging stations (bottom).

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iDrive iPhone, part I

Surely it stands to reason that ActiveE iDrivers will have iPhones too. So, there's an app for iPhoners that can show nearby charging stations.

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iDrive iPhone, part II

The iPhone app will also let you check battery status, start the climate control air-con and schedule things for your ActiveE remotely.

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