BMW To Launch Megacity Vehicle In 2013
BMW Group has planned to bring its first series-production electric-drive model to market with the launch of its Megacity Vehicle in 2013. The Megacity Vehicle, a zero-emission urban car for the world’s metropolitan regions, is currently being developed as part of project i and will be available from 2013 under a sub-brand of BMW.
BMW said that the Megacity Vehicle will be the group’s first series-produced electric vehicle on the market in 2013. It claims that significant quantities of carbon fiber reinforced plastics have been used in the vehicle, substantially reducing its weight, because weight plays a crucial role in the range achievable by electrically driven vehicles.
The group has been gleaning insights into the daily use of EVs since mid-2009, when it launched a global field test involving more than 600 MINI E models. During the test phase, some 50 MINI E cars are also being delivered to customers in China in 2010.
In the future, the company plans to offer a New Energy Vehicle in China. This will be developed and produced locally together with joint venture partner Brilliance.
The company also plans fleet trials of Mini E electrics and ActiveE concepts in China in 2011. The China Automotive Technology and Research Center (CATARC) and State Grid, a state-owned energy supply company, are involved as partners in the preparation, implementation and assessment of the project.
Norbert Reithofer, chairman of board of management at BMW, said: ''With this innovative vehicle, designed from the ground up, we will be creating new benchmarks for electric mobility from 2013 on.
''Our Megacity Vehicle will be significantly lighter than conventional cars and, in terms of sustainability, will set a new standard across the entire value-added chain. The BMW Group is currently the only company that will be launching a volume-production vehicle on the market that features carbon fibre-reinforced material. I am convinced that our Chinese clients will show the same enthusiasm for the vehicle as Mini E drivers in Germany, the US and Britain.''