BMW ActiveE - driving report

The German manufacturers are often accused of having overslept the trend towards electric vehicles and now being demonstrated by the Chinese and Japanese.

That is not the case - BMW shows with the ActiveE.

The ActiveE was shown at the Geneva Motor Show in spring. For the presentation in March 2011 there was still no fixed time for practical tests - today it is clear:
On October 5, 2011, electromobility began in Munich with a convincing premium electromobile.

The demands on a vehicle of the BMW brand are high and so the excitement of the invited press representatives on this first trip around Munich in autumn was probably on the level of the energy storage devices built into the vehicle.

From the outside, the BMW ActiveE differs only marginally from its body dispenser, the 1er Copué. At second glance, you will notice a hood scoop in the style of the M models. And at a second or third glance you notice that the sporty elegance of the two-door model does not suffer even without an exhaust pipe at the rear. If the ActiveE weren't covered with an eye-catching paint job that is supposed to remind the viewer of conductor tracks - it would be a BMW 1 series as it rolls off the assembly line in large numbers every day.

However, there can be no talk of large series, the first full electric vehicle with the white and blue propeller as an emblem will be sold to customers in the USA, Europe and Asia in a quantity of around 1.100 vehicles for the next 2 years. Because - even if you get the impression that this ActiveE already has sales room level, it is still a kind of test vehicle.

Similar to the MiniE one wants to collect in Munich also with the ActiveE first still more experiences in the building of electric vehicles. But you just do not want to understand the ActiveE as a prototype or a prototype.

No - the ActiveE is the harbinger of the BMW i3 - the completely new urban electric vehicle from BMW. (By the way: the development code of the i3 is MCV “Megacityvehicle” - unfortunately I registered too late when visiting the BMW interior test laboratory, which was a test vehicle for ergonomics research that had already simulated the cockpit size of the MCV.)

When driving the ActiveE it is important to keep in mind that you are sitting in a car that was not designed as an electric car - but in a vehicle that has been converted from a petrol engine to an electric drive. No matter how perfectly the engineers at BMW succeeded, this path always requires a large number of compromises. And so it is interesting to know that the ActiveE driven weighs 181 5kg, but the i3 should come onto the road with about 1250 kg.

That means: The performance that you can already experience in the ActiveE today is massively increased by the fact that the vehicle weight is reduced by almost 600 kg. In other words, without an increase in engine power, which would otherwise result in: The battery capacity would also have to be increased, and thus the total weight again.

What is already going on ambitiously and swiftly today will live up to the slogan "joy of driving" in the future.

If you had trusted the MiniE still on purchased technology, BMW will continue to remain true to its name in electric motors in the future and even manufacture the electric motors of its electric cars. Therefore, in the ActiveE and later in the urban city car i3 except for the batteries is hardly something that you buy foreign. The hybrid synchronous motor placed on the rear axle is a development of BMW.

Bayerische Motoren Werke are now also building electric motors - the die-hard inline six-cylinder fan has to get used to that.

The result?
The BMW ActiveE in the form of a BMW 1 Series Coupé is convincing across the board - never before have I driven an electric car that was so convincing in its overall presentation.

Everything fits here. The processing is not careless and certainly not at the prototype level. Everything about this BMW smells like BMW, feels like BMW and - particularly important: it drives like a BMW.

The little one with his love handles lies full and confident on the street. Thanks to the power of 250Nm of the electric motor, which is available from 0 to 12.000 revolutions, the start from the traffic light succeeds without any delay - spontaneously and as if pulled on a rubber band, the electric BMW accelerates, in the absence of a gearbox, absolutely free of gear changes up to a speed of currently 145 km / h.

Now you can interject: 145 km / h? A BMW with the top speed of 145 km / h?
Electric vehicles are not yet ready to cover long distances at high speeds, so that is not the point and area of ​​application of the BMW i3 - the technology of which the ActiveE transports to final maturity. The i3 will transport sporty electromobility to our urban environment and gladly beyond.
So that there is no end at the city limits, the range of the ActiveE in the current configuration is 160 to 240km - depending on the intended use and measuring cycle. The average commuter travels 46 km a day - the ActiveE and later the i3 will offer enough reserves so that the radius of daily mobility does not have to be restricted even in electric mode.

2013 should be ready ... I am confident that the i3 will be the first real electric car in the premium segment.



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