Mike Stevens | Feb 14, 2011

BMW's production-ready 1 Series ActiveE electric vehicle will make its debut at next month's Geneva Motor Show, the luxury carmaker has confirmed today.

Looking almost identical to its petrol- and diesel-powered siblings, the arrival of BMW's first all-electric comes just one year after the unveiling of the ActiveE concept at last year's Detroit Auto Show.

Visually, the 1 Series ActiveE is characterised by a restyled bumper and a distinctive bonnet bulge that even the 1 Series M misses out on, hiding one of the three separate battery packs which have been divided to assist with weight distribution.

The other two liquid-cooled SB LiMotive battery packs are positioned beneath the rear seats and in the space left by the absence of a conventional transmission.

Power for the ActiveE is provided by an electric synchronous motor, developing 125kW and 250Nm of torque and sending the 1 Series to 96km/h (60mph) in nine seconds. Top speed is limited to 145km/h.

Among the all-electric ActiveE's features is a kinetic energy recovery system, which sees the car recover up to 20 percent of its driving range when the driver's foot lifts off the accelerator pedal.

The energy recovery process creates a brake torque, allowing simple deceleration manoeuvres. Regular deliberate braking engages the conventional hydraulic braking system, and Dynamic Stability Control is also featured.

The 1 Series ActiveE will be built in limited numbers, with just 1000 cars taking part in a test program in Europe, China and the US. BMW's wider Megacity electric vehicle range is scheduled to launch in 2013.


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