BMW Reveal eRR Electric Super Bike Concept

BMW Motorrad has a long tradition in pointing out new ways and thoughts for the topic „mobility on two wheels“. For that, again and again many studies were presented in the past giving views to the future. The experimental vehicle eRR, created as a project with the Technical University of Munich, embodies an idea of an electric powered supersport motorcycle made by BMW Motorrad.

Already a couple of years ago, BMW i showed the BMW Group’s visionary and sustainable approach with the vehicles BMW i3 and i8 and their revolutionary design principles (aluminum chassis and passenger cabin made from carbon fibre) and BMW Motorrad’s C evolution proved, that zero emission, riding fun and practicability do not exclude themselves.

With presenting the experimental vehicle eRR BMW Motorrad goes one step forward and shows the possibilities of an all-electric drive in a supersport motorcycle. Regarding design and chassis technology the eRR leans on the supersport motorcycle S 1000 RR, however using an all-electric drive.

Stephan Schaller, Head of BMW Motorrad, emphasizes: „Since their market launch, the RR is giving the creeps to motorsport athletes. If acceleration, handling or topspeed – the RR is setting standards. However, if acceleration on the first metres, up to 50, 60 kph, is the point, the RR’s 199 bhp have to admit defeat by another BMW product: the C evolution with its electric drive.

We asked ourselves: What happens when combining a sport motorcycle and an electric drive? The experimental vehicle eRR brings the topic zero emission and electric drive on a new, more fascinating level."

BMW Motorrad will announce technical details of the eRR at a later date.

Mercedes open to battery alliance with BMW and Audi

Daimler is open to the idea of creating an alliance between Germany's premium carmakers to manufacture next-generation batteries.

"There are commonalities between the German carmakers." Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said when asked whether Mercedes-Benz would consider extending an alliance formed earlier this year to buy Nokia's maps business, Here, to battery technology.

"Nokia Here led to a common approach... and there might be other areas," he told a news conference at the Frankfurt auto show, adding that any such cooperation would most likely start with the next generation of batteries.

Daimler, Volkswagen's Audi and BMW teamed up to buy Nokia Here last month for around 2.5 billion euros ($2.8 billion) in the most significant cooperation to date between the rival premium carmakers.

Daimler are currently exiting the battery cell manufacturing business by closing subsidiary Li-Tec later this year while planning to spend 100 million euros (US$125 million) in coming years to increase production of lithium-ion battery packs in eastern Germany using cells provided by South Korean based LG Chem.

Mercedes, BMW and Audi/Volkswagen all rely on Korean battery manufactures, LG Chem, Samsung SDI and SK Innovation, who between them hold 41% of global automotive battery patents for current generation battery cells.

Samsung SDI Battery Systems (SDIBS), a subsidiary formed after SDI's acquisition of Magna in May are working to strengthen the competitiveness of their European automotive battery business with a Low Pack battery designed for key customers including BMW and Audi .

Daimler CEO Zetsche suggested an alliance to manufacture next-generation battery cells which is clearly a mission critical technology for the electric vehicle industry. The battle is currently focused on solid state battery development with Volkswagen, Bosch, Samsung and General Motors all having made recent investments.

Perhaps, most noticeably, Daimler are not known to have any IP investments in this key area.

Mercedes open to battery alliance with BMW and Audi

Daimler is open to the idea of creating an alliance between Germany's premium carmakers to manufacture next-generation batteries.

"There are commonalities between the German carmakers." Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said when asked whether Mercedes-Benz would consider extending an alliance formed earlier this year to buy Nokia's maps business, Here, to battery technology.

"Nokia Here led to a common approach... and there might be other areas," he told a news conference at the Frankfurt auto show, adding that any such cooperation would most likely start with the next generation of batteries.

Daimler, Volkswagen's Audi and BMW teamed up to buy Nokia Here last month for around 2.5 billion euros ($2.8 billion) in the most significant cooperation to date between the rival premium carmakers.

Daimler are currently exiting the battery cell manufacturing business by closing subsidiary Li-Tec later this year while planning to spend 100 million euros (US$125 million) in coming years to increase production of lithium-ion battery packs in eastern Germany using cells provided by South Korean based LG Chem.

Mercedes, BMW and Audi/Volkswagen all rely on Korean battery manufactures, LG Chem, Samsung SDI and SK Innovation, who between them hold 41% of global automotive battery patents for current generation battery cells.

Samsung SDI Battery Systems (SDIBS), a subsidiary formed after SDI's acquisition of Magna in May are working to strengthen the competitiveness of their European automotive battery business with a Low Pack battery designed for key customers including BMW and Audi .

Daimler CEO Zetsche suggested an alliance to manufacture next-generation battery cells which is clearly a mission critical technology for the electric vehicle industry. The battle is currently focused on solid state battery development with Volkswagen, Bosch, Samsung and General Motors all having made recent investments.

Perhaps, most noticeably, Daimler are not known to have any IP investments in this key area.

BMW Launch 225xe and 330e Plug-In Hybrids [VIDEO]

The innovative BMW eDrive technology in the new BMW 225xe and new BMW 330e once again underlines BMW’s leading role in the premium segment when it comes to powertrain electrification.

BMW eDrive technology includes a number of cutting-edge plug-in hybrid components and makes a significant contribution to reducing fuel consumption and emissions. BMW eDrive is one of the most cutting-edge elements of the groundbreaking BMW EfficientDynamics suite of technology.

Locally emission-free driving
BMW eDrive is the new drive system technology used in all the electrically powered vehicles from BMW i and the plug-in hybrid models from BMW. As well as outstanding efficiency and seamless everyday practicality, BMW eDrive also delivers the highest standards in driving dynamics and quality, in keeping with BMW tradition. Alongside BMW TwinPower Turbo technology for combustion engines, intelligent lightweight design and optimised aerodynamics, BMW eDrive technology is therefore one of the most important elements in the EfficientDynamics strategy designed to increase power and further reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. In addition, BMW eDrive offers the option of driving on electric power alone and therefore with zero local emissions – yet at the same time reveals the ability to cover long distances when the two drive systems team up.

Moreover, BMW eDrive technology ensures extremely dynamic acceleration off the line thanks to the instantaneous responses of the electric motor, which generates its remarkable torque from the word go. Plus, the eBoost function, which pools the torque of both drive systems under acceleration, serves up BMW’s signature driving pleasure, whatever the conditions.

Designed for different vehicle concepts
The most important components of BMW eDrive technology are the synchronous electric motor (including the power electronics developed by BMW), the lithium-ion high-voltage battery and intelligent energy management. The latter ensures the electric motor and combustion engine in plug-in hybrid models work together as effectively as possible according to the situation at hand.

Developed initially for the all-electric BMW i3 and BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car – which duly led the way in electric mobility in the premium sector – the modular structure of BMW eDrive technology sets it up perfectly for use in various vehicle concepts and segments. BMW uses its plentiful technical experience and customer feedback in the development of the latest BMW eDrive models. The fine-tuning of vehicle-specific elements, such as the battery cells, cooling management, power electronics and operating strategy, has involved the transfer of knowledge from the BMW i3 and BMW i8 to the development of new BMW eDrive models. Here, all components are adapted precisely to the vehicle at hand and optimised in terms of performance, efficiency, safety and durability. Moreover, BMW eDrive technology enables the electrified xDrive concept first featured in the BMW i8 to be executed with great efficiency.

BMW eDrive: familiar BMW character, flexible usage options
BMW eDrive technology essentially spans the electric motor, the lithium-ion high-voltage battery and the power electronics. Based on a shared eBoost strategy, all BMW plug-in hybrid models offer supreme power delivery by bringing together their two drive systems, and elevate the responsiveness of BMW TwinPower Turbo technology to another new level. BMW eDrive makes all-electric driving in urban areas and over cross-country routes a marketable proposition. An important element of the operating strategy is the need-oriented use of externally sourced and recuperated electric energy to maximise the vehicle’s efficiency. The components of the BMW eDrive architecture are tailored to each particular vehicle concept and can be combined with four- and three-cylinder petrol engines as well as with classical rear-wheel drive, BMW xDrive or electrified all-wheel drive.

The eDrive components developed as part of the BMW i projects will soon be integrated into other model ranges from the core brands. This scalable architecture also provides the platform required to offer plug-in hybrid vehicles at attractive prices on a par with those of conventionally powered variants of similar output. This means customers who opt for this advanced drive concept encounter not only the environmental benefits of electric mobility, but also economic plus-points.

Plug-in hybrid: energy management at its most intelligent
In plug-in hybrid vehicles, intelligent energy management ensures the combustion engine and electric motor work together to maximum effect in all driving situations. Their operating strategy is based on the vehicle starting up on electric power only. BMW’s plug-in hybrid vehicles prioritise electric mode at low and moderate speeds, which allows them to exploit the benefits of the locally emission-free electric drive system. Under greater acceleration and at higher speeds, however, the combustion engine also joins the action. The boost function pools the torque of both drive systems to maximise the car’s dynamic performance and lend it remarkable poise and assurance. BMW eDrive ensures that the combustion engine runs efficiently (electric assist) at higher speeds as well. This allows a reduction in fuel consumption on brisk cross-country or motorway runs, for example. And when the route guidance function of the car’s navigation system is activated, the proactive function initiates an anticipatory operating strategy which optimises efficiency and maximises the electric driving experience.

Like the BMW i8, the BMW X5 xDrive40e, BMW 330e and BMW 740e can all – at the touch of a button in MAX eDRIVE mode – run on purely electric power up to 120 km/h (75 mph), the BMW 225xe up to 125 km/h (78 mph). Here, the combustion engine only comes into play when the accelerator’s kickdown threshold is passed. In SAVE BATTERY mode the battery’s charge can be maintained to enable electric driving later on in the journey. If the charge level drops below 50 per cent, the battery is replenished. If the selector lever is moved into the S gate, the combustion engine starts up regardless of the mode engaged, ensuring sustained availability of the combined maximum output of the two drive systems. In addition, the battery’s charge is raised to 80 per cent.

With the addition of the BMW eDrive functions, the ECO PRO, COMFORT and SPORT driving experience modes are now even more clearly defined than on conventional vehicles.

Fast and convenient battery charging The high-voltage batteries of the new BMW plug-in hybrid models can be charged extremely easily, conveniently and quickly – both at home and while on the move – using BMW 360° ELECTRIC solutions. The battery can be powered up again from a domestic socket using the standard charging cable supplied or from a BMW i Wallbox (charging power: 3.7 kW). When it comes to topping up the battery during a journey, the BMW i mobility service, ChargeNow, gives customers access to the world’s largest public charging network of over 30,000 charging points run by partners in 22 countries.

Higher performance, lower fuel consumption
The new BMW plug-in hybrid models with eDrive technology – such as the new BMW X5 xDrive40e, the BMW 225xe and BMW 330e currently making their debuts, and the BMW 740e due for launch in the near future – are once again setting the benchmark in the various corners of the premium segment when it comes to reducing fuel consumption, and will also meet the stipulations of international legislation in the future regarding CO2 emissions. Moreover, their all-electric and therefore locally emission-free driving mode will also allow them to drive into city centre zones where entry is regulated. And yet the BMW plug-in hybrid models also deliver the hallmark BMW attributes of dynamic excellence, sporting ability and driving pleasure while offering the best performance in their respective segments.

Volkswagen e-Golf vs. BMW i3 REx [VIDEO]

Polish blogger Marek Wieruszewski reviews the Volkswagen e-Golf and the BMW i3 REx.

The Volkswagen e-Golf has a claimed range of up to 200 kilometres while the BMW i3 can squeeze up to around 160 kilometers, but it can be equipped with a petrol range-extender, which doubles its range.

BMW wants electric racing future

German brand BMW believes electric cars are its future - even on the racetrack.

Speculation has been mounting for months that the company would join the World Endurance Championship with an LMP1 car to rival entries from Porsche, Audi, Toyota and Nissan.

However, BMW's motorsport boss, Jens Marquardt, has ruled out building a car to the current hybrid rulebook, saying the brand wants to race a fully-electric car to promote its new range of electric road cars, the i3 and i8.

"The regulations in LMP1 will be new for 2017 and it will be a hybrid class where the key players are competing at a high level," Marquardt told Autosport.

"We see hybrid as a stepping-stone towards EV [electric vehicle] and EV as the future for BMW, which we showcase in the i sub-brand.

"This current set-up does not fulfil our needed criteria."

And the BMW bigwig also ruled out joining Citroen's DS brand and Renault in supporting teams in the all-electric Formula E Championship.

He said the series reliance on mid-race car swaps was bad for the public perception of electric cars and the so-called "range anxiety".

"If you look at public discussions of electric mobility, the issue of reach is very important," Marquardt said.

However, Formula E organisers are pushing to eliminate the car swaps ahead of originally planned as part of increased technical freedoms for the teams and manufacturers.

Apple, BMW in courtship with an eye on car collaboration

BMW and Apple may rekindle a courtship put on hold after an exploratory visit by executives of the world's top maker of electronic gadgets to the headquarters of the word's biggest seller of premium cars.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook went to BMW's headquarters last year and senior Apple executives toured the carmaker's Leipzig factory to learn how it manufactures the i3 electric car.

The dialogue ended without conclusion because Apple appears to want to explore developing a passenger car on its own.

Also, BMW is being cautious about sharing its manufacturing know-how because it wants to avoid becoming a mere supplier to a software or internet giant.

During the visit, Apple executives asked BMW board members detailed questions about tooling and production and BMW executives signaled readiness to license parts, a source said. News of the Leipzig visit first emerged in Germany's Manager-Magazin last week.

"Apple executives were impressed with the fact that we abandoned traditional approaches to car making and started afresh. It chimed with the way they do things too," a senior BMW source said.

The carmaker says there are currently no talks with Apple about jointly developing a passenger car and Apple declined to comment. However, a source said exploratory talks between senior managers may be revived at a later stage.

It is too early to say whether this will be a replay of Silicon Valley's Prometheus moment: The day in 1979 when Apple co-founder Steve Jobs visited Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center where the first mouse-driven graphical user interface and bit-mapped graphics were created, and walked out with crucial ideas to launch the Macintosh computer five years later.

BMW has realized next-generation vehicles cannot be built without more input from telecoms and software experts, and Apple has been studying how to make a self-driving electric car as it seeks new market opportunities beyond phones.

STAFF CHANGES

Since the visit, there has been a reshuffle at the top of BMW, with Harald Krueger, appointed BMW Chief Executive in May, in favor of establishing his own team and his plans for BMW by year end, before engaging in new projects, a person familiar with his thinking told Reuters.

A further complication was the departure of BMW's board member for development Herbert Diess, who played a leading role in initial discussions with Apple. He defected to Volkswagen in December.

Diess, who declined to comment for this piece, oversaw the development of BMW's "i" vehicles which are built using light weight carbon fiber, using a radical approach to design and manufacturing.

Car technology has become a prime area of interest for Silicon Valley companies ranging from Google, which has built a prototype self-driving car, to electric car-maker Tesla Motors.

Diess has said the German auto industry needs to undergo radical change because consumers are demanding more intelligent cars and anti-pollution rules mean the next generation vehicles will increasingly be low emission electric and hybrid variants.

In 2030, only two generations of new cars away in auto manufacturing time scales, only a third of vehicles will be powered by a conventional combustion engine alone, experts predict.

"It means that in two cycles we will shut down two thirds of our engine manufacturing," Diess told a panel discussion in July last year, adding that the value chain for new electric cars is already shifting, with vehicle batteries made mainly in Asia.

"The second part is that the car will become intelligent, part of the Internet," Diess continued. "And the strong players in this area are in the United States, in the software development area. We will surely need to find alliances in this field."

Germany has two years to prove that it can hold its own against new entrants when it comes to shaping the future of luxury vehicles, Diess said.

THEM AND US

Automakers including BMW have already developed next generation self-driving cars, vehicles which need permanent software updates in the form of high-definition maps allowing a car to recalculate a route if it learns about an accident ahead. The technology is moving ahead faster than the legal and regulatory rules which would allow large-scale commercial availability.

Earlier this year, BMW's new R&D chief Klaus Froehlich said his company and Apple had much in common, including a focus on premium branding, an emphasis on evolving products and a sense of aesthetically pleasing design.

Asked, in general terms, whether a deeper collaboration beyond integration of products like the iPhone would make sense, Froehlich initially said BMW would not consider any deal that forces it to open up its core know-how to outsiders.

"We do not collaborate to open our eco systems but we find ways, because we respect each other," Froehlich said.

BMW will keep in mind the needs of the customer, and what the company's core strengths are, when it considers the merits of entering any strategic collaboration, Froehlich added.

Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW's management board member in charge of the Mini brand as well as digital services declined to comment on possible talks with Apple in an interview earlier this year.

But he said: "Two worlds are colliding here. Our world, focused on hardware and our experience in making complex products, and the world of information technology which is intruding more and more into our life."

The winners will be those companies that understand how to build intelligent hardware, he said, adding it made sense for carmakers and tech firms to cooperate more closely.

"We need to get away from the idea that it will be either us or them ... We cannot offer clients the perfect experience without help from one of these technology companies," Schwarzenbauer said. That dialogue is well underway, he stressed.

With $202.8 billion in cash, Apple has the resources to enter the automotive market on its own, said Eric Noble, president of the Car Lab, a consulting firm in Orange, Calif.

The tech giant would have an edge on the dashboard, its CarPlay infotainment system connecting iPhones to cars, but would be at square one with the rest of the car, Noble said.

If Apple decided to sell a car it could make sense to find a partner to help with industrial scale production, retail and repair, since demand for such a vehicle could be high.

There are no estimates for potential Apple car sales but the brand and its products command a loyal following. So if only 1 percent of Apple's annual iPhone customers decided to order a car, it would need to make 1.69 million vehicles.

That's more than the 434,311 vehicles Jaguar and Land Rover produced last year. Even BMW Group, which made just over 2 million cars last year, would struggle to free up capacity.

Electric truck takes up delivery duties for BMW in Munich

100% electric trucks from the BMW Group and the SCHERM group will be in service from today in Munich. This means the BMW Group will be the first automobile manufacturer in Europe to use a 40-ton electric truck for material transport on public roads. It was launched at the BMW Group Plant in Munich by Bavaria’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Ilse Aigner.

The electric 40-ton truck – a model from the Dutch manufacturer Terberg – has successfully completed its first test drives. On 7 July, the car will go into regular operation and travel eight times a day between the SCHERM group logistics centre and the BMW Group plant in Munich. It will transport different vehicle components, such as shock absorbers, springs and steering systems.

The electric truck by the BMW Group and the SCHERM group will be exclusively charged with electricity from renewable sources. The combination of this and the alternative driveline means the 40-ton truck helps the environment while it is on the road – it’s CO2-free, quiet and generates almost no fine particle pollution. Compared to a diesel engine truck, the electric truck will save 11.8 tons of CO2 annually. This is equivalent to the distance a BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics would travel when going around the world almost three times.

The truck battery takes three to four hours to charge. When fully charged, the vehicle has a range of up to 100 kilometres. Thus, the electric truck can theoretically complete a full production day without any additional recharging.

Bavaria’s Minister for Economic Affairs, Ilse Aigner: “Bavaria is a leading industrial and research location. It is crucial that the Bavarian economy is also at the forefront in electric mobility. BMW is making an important contribution to this and is showing that you can succeed on the global market with sustainable products made by innovative companies.”

Hermann Bohrer, Head of the BMW Group Plant in Munich: “With our electric truck, we are sending another strong signal for sustainable urban mobility. We are contributing to reducing emissions in the city and are proud to be the first automotive manufacturer in Europe to use an electric truck of this size to transport materials on public roads.” Thus, the innovative truck is another valuable contribution to sustainable production.

Jürgen Maidl, Head of Logistics at BMW Group, emphasised the potential of the electric truck. “With this project we will gain valuable information on what will be possible with electric trucks in the future for city logistics. The BMW Group, along with our partner the SCHERM Group, is once again bravely embarking on a new journey and delivering pioneering work.”

Kurt J. F. Scherm, CEO of the SCHERM group underlined: “As a supplier of transport solutions, it is especially important to us to offer sustainable transport. The electric truck is the first step towards CO2-reduced transport logistics. In addition, this innovative truck is charged with 100% green energy.“

Urban mobility – and for the BMW Group this also includes urban logistics and transport — is a topic with great future potential. Since the end of 2013, the BMW i brand has been on the market. In addition, the company has launched its successful car-sharing programme DriveNow and established it in international cities. The BMW i3 vehicles are currently being introduced into the DriveNow fleets step by step.

Mini Superleggera to have BMW i8 plug-in hybrid powertrain – reversed

The Mini Superleggera concept is getting closer to production, as new details on its powertrain have emerged.

Production Mini Superleggera concept could use a plug-in hybrid powertrain similar to that of the i8 sports car according to Autocar sources.

That arrangement will see a petrol engine mounted at the front, with an electric motor mounted at the rear axle, along the same lines as BMW's all-wheel-drive range-extender electric car powertrain. It will be based on the same UKL platform which already underpins the rest of the Mini range as well as the BMW 2-Series Active Tourer.

BMW board member with the responsibility for Mini Peter Schwarzenbauer said that Mini was still exploring the potential of plug-in hybrid and EV technology. "every new Mini model will come with a hybrid option, Plug-in hybrids are economically a little easier," he said "Full electric is extremely challenging. Finding a small space to put all the batteries in is extremely challenging. We are working on both possibilities."

Schwarzenbauer said "There is no decision at the moment, but we have a lot of people here that are fighting hard for it. One of our superheroes will be an open car. I'm not saying the Superleggera will come, but you will have an open car."

By 2020 all BMW’s will be AWD range-extender electric cars

BMW have embarked on a radical engineering overhaul which could see all future models from the 3-series upwards, including the Rolls-Royce range, become all-wheel-drive range-extender electric cars.

The days of spot-welded steel bodies and engines that drive the rear wheels via conventional transmissions are set to be consigned to history. BMW’s plan to make all of its cars from the 3-series upwards plug-in hybrids has forced the company’s engineers to rethink the make-up of its cars from first principles.

The first move is to radically reduce the weight of future bodyshells to help offset the extra weight of battery packs. Work on BMW’s bodyshell of the future is already well advanced, and the first generation of the mixed-materials structure will be seen this coming summer, underpinning the next-generation 7-series.

It is expected to take another generation of the 3-series, expected in 2018, before BMW is ready to switch its mainstream car to this kind of carbonfibre-intensive construction. That’s partly because it will take some years to reduce the cost of this kind of construction.

The next phase in BMW's reengineering is a rethink of the powertrain. The final concept — demonstrated in Nov 2014 with a 500 kw AWD 5-series GT xDrive plug-in hybrid — is similar in basic principle to the series hybrid system that propels the Chevrolet Volt.

Where the Chevy Volt has an ICE powered generator/motor + a traction motor in a single front-wheel-drive transverse gearbox assembly, BMW will retain it's famous rear-wheel-drive bias by splitting that combination and putting the main traction motor on the rear axle while the front axle can still be driven by the ICE powered motor/generator. This also means that on-demand four-wheel drive will be available on all future BMWs.

As seen in the BMW i8, a large battery will occupy the centre tunnel and some of the space usually occupied by the fuel tank. The front-mounted engine acts as a generator in most driving situations, creating electricity to help drive the electric motors.

The front electric motor is key to the new powertrain

In normal use, the front electric motor drives the front wheels via a still-secret new type of transmission. At speeds above 80 km/h or so, the engine ‘assists’ the electric motor by attaching itself to the new transmission via a mechanical planetary system to help drive the front wheels at motorway speeds in parallel mode much like a Chevy Volt or Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. The combustion engine expected to be driving the front wheels only 10 per cent of the time on a typical journey.

BMW won’t reveal the details of this new combined electric motor and transmission system, but we speculate BMW, like Renault and Bugatti, may be considering a disc-shaped Axial Flux electric motor mounted within the gearbox housing.

The new transmission is unlikely to have more than three ratios and could be a mechanical planetary system. It is likely to be less expensive than today’s eight and nine-speed autos and dual-clutch transmissions.

Because the new-generation engine runs as a lean-burn generator for 90 per cent of the time and the twin electric motors provide significant torque, demands on the engine are much reduced. So it probably doesn’t need a turbocharger, the accompanying intercooler system or the Valvetronic system.

The emissions control system should also be less complex and expensive, all of which greatly reduces the cost of the unit. The engine is likely to be significantly lighter, too.

The battery pack can be larger. It will fit neatly in space freed up by the removal of the propshaft and the use of a smaller fuel tank. Braking assistance from electric motors means the mechanical brakes can be smaller, lighter and cheaper.

The multi-material bodyshell will be at least 100kg lighter than that of today’s 3-series, partly offsetting the battery’s weight.

This new hybrid powertrain offers part-time and permanent all-wheel drive and can be scaled across all models. So although the new, simplified generator motors might come in different sizes and capacities — and the battery pack will come in different sizes — this powertrain can largely be shared between everything from a 3-series to an X5 to a Rolls-Royce Phantom. This will save BMW a huge amount of money in production and research and development costs.

BMW is rumoured to already be testing a four-seater with some of the above technology. Weighing less than 1,200 kg with a drag co-efficient of 0.18, the BMW prototype consumes only 0.4 liters per 100 kilometers or 706 miles per imperial gallon (588 miles per US gallon).

Source: Autocar