BMW says the lithium-ion battery packs – one is positioned under the bonnet, the other under the car – don’t restrict the coupe’s four-seat interior room, though the electric motor almost halves boot space, to 200 litres.
The ActiveE also weighs about 400kg more than a regular 1-Series Coupe, though BMW claims the car can accelerate from 0-100km/h in less than nine seconds and reach an electronically governed top speed of 145km/h.
According to BMW, a driver can also extend the ActiveE’s range by up to 20 per cent by lifting off the accelerator pedal rather than pressing the brake pedal to slow the car.
This is made possible by the electric motor switching its function from propulsion unit to generator that tops up the battery pack after converting the kinetic energy into supplementary electric power.
BMW says its electric car’s recharging time can be as fast as three hours using a fast-charging system, though owners can also use conventional electrical sockets.
BMW has incorporated the electric motor into the rear axle to ensure the ActiveE adheres to the company’s preference for rear-wheel drive. The motor generates 125kW of power, as well as an instantaneous 200Nm of torque.
The positioning of the battery packs is said to further aid the car’s handling by lowering the centre of gravity and contributing to a near-50/50 weight balance.
Special alloy wheels (designed to reduce drag), the absence of exhaust pipes at the rear, and electrical-circuit graphics ensure the ActiveE concept won’t be confused with a regular 1-Series Coupe.
The interior is near-identical, though the ActiveE’s dash features instruments specific to the electric-drive system.
The Concept ActiveE will join the Mini E in real-world field trials, leased to both private and fleet customers for daily use.
BMW will use the feedback from these customers to help develop its future city cars, including the Megacity Vehicle that will become part of a new sub-brand.