BMW has revealed further details of the Megacity electric car that will go on sale in 2013.
The car will benefit from field trials the company has been conducting with the electric Mini E in 2010 and the 1 Series-based ActiveE electric car throughout 2011.
The VW Golf-sized Megacity will have no allegiance to any other car in the BMW or Mini stable, though. 'Purpose-built is the only way to go with electric vehicles,' says Manual Sattig of the project management team.
The car will be built on what BMW calls a Life-Drive concept. All the drive components – batteries, electric motor and management system – are housed in an aluminium chassis onto which BMW will mount a carbonfibre hatchback passenger cell.
The use of carbonfibre instead of steel will ensure the Megacity weighs no more than a similar-sized petrol or diesel car, despite its heavy battery pack. The sandwich layout will also keep the centre of gravity low and preserve the vital BMW fun-to-drive character, claims Sattig. Preliminary crash tests suggest the car will be as safe as a conventional steel-bodied model.
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