BMW and Daimler team with TUM on mass-market EV project

May 9, 2012 § 1 Comment

The Technische Universitat Munchen (TUM) is working with BMW, Daimler, Siemens and other German supplier firms in a research consortium to produce a new safe, lightweight, low-cost mass-market EV. BMW is to lead the Visio.M project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research to the tune of 10.8million euros. The targets set include a kerbweight of 400kg (minus battery), 15kW of power, and the ability to meet the Euro L7e-class requirements.  The initial test ‘mule’ will be based on TUM’s MUTE prototype (pictured; more details here) which will be used to trial technology concepts including energy storage, the powertrain and operational software.

  • Toyota has unveiled its RAV4 EV – with Tesla-supplied 154hp/115kW powertrain – at the Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles. This has a range of 100 miles, does 100mph and 0-60 in seven seconds in Sport mode or 85mph and 0-60 in 8.6 sec in Normal mode, and is front-wheel drive only. No plans for UK or European sale, but Toyota is asking for (and responding to) comments at its blog on the matter. Prices from $49,800 in California, where deliveries start this summer.
  • BMW has done a deal in the US with Real Goods Solar for a 35% discount on solar panels for ActiveE customers. Some 700 ActiveE prototypes – 1-Series based hatches trialling the tech for the i3 – are out on lease now. More details (and comments from happy users) at Detroit News.
  • A car-share fleet of around 40 mia electric mini-minivans is to hit the roads of the Poitou-Charentes region of France, reports Technologic Vehicles. Mia electric is based in Cerizay in the region – and is 30% owned by the local state administration.
  • Here’s an uplifting story: EV converter Karabag has electrified a Fiat 500 using the powertrain from a Linde forklift truck. The Karabag 500e is available for sale or lease, should you want one; press release and video posted at Autoblog Green, which also has video of a Linde-powered go-kart which has just set a record for electric kart acceleration (0-60 in 3.45 seconds).
  • Supercharging and downspeeding a diesel engine, in conjunction with optimising transmission ratios, can give fuel savings of over 12%, claims a team from Southwest Research Institute and supercharger-maker Eaton. Paper presented at SAE Congress; more details here.
  • Actuators, bearings and seals: it’s the little things which count towards saving energy and reducing CO2 emissions. SKF has presented a portfolio of such solutions at the Electric Vehicle Symposium; lowdown at Green Car Congress.
  • More news from EVS: Siemens presented its eHighway concept, a charging proposal for trucks using tram-like overhead wires. Trials underway in Germany, more to follow at Los Angeles and Long Beach docks for cargo lorries. More, including video, at The Charging Point.
  • Infrastructure-provider DBT CEV and Matra have developed a battery-swap concept for electric bikes and scooters, said to be suitable for use in separate battery-leasing and charging programmes. A (scalable) rival for Better Place? More at Green Car Congress.
  • The city of Windsor, Ontario, has signed up for 10 40-foot BYD electric buses – and the province of Ontario is in talks with BYD over manufacturing the e-buses on Canadian soil (Green Car Congress). Windsor wants to become a major hub for e-mobility manufacturing, and work underway there includes research on second-life use of the bus batteries as static energy storage centres.

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§ One Response to BMW and Daimler team with TUM on mass-market EV project

  • This seems viable and if done properly could mimic the VW Beetle when it first came out as a inexpensive and reliable means of transportation. Especially with crowding in urban areas we just simply need a short range vehicle to get around. So I hope to see this project flourish.

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