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BMW Launches New “Sustainable Mobility” Brand

BMW i debuting with battery-powered i3 and i8 models.

by on Feb.21, 2011

Renamed i8, the striking BMW Vision concept will reappear as one of the first two models for the maker's new BMW i sub-brand.

BMW has given an official name to its new battery-powered brand-within-a-brand.  The operation, which had been going by the working name, Megacity, will now be called BMW i, and will charge into dealer showrooms in 2013 with a pair of lithium-ion-powered luxury cars.

Using the new “LifeDrive” architecture, the BMW i3 and i8 models will target those customers who want premium products that are nonetheless eco-friendly, the maker explains.  Additional products are likely to be added to the line-up in the years ahead, the maker broadly hints.

“BMW i offers visionary cars and services, inspiring design, and an entirely new concept of premium mobility – all with a focus on sustainability”, explained BMW Board Member and sales and marketing director Ian Robertson.  “The products and services have been conceived around a revolutionary approach: purpose designed and purpose built for sustainable, premium mobility.

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The BMW i3, originally known as the Megacity Vehicle, will serve as the core of the new sub-brand.  It’s the first BMW product designed specifically for use in urban areas solely on electric power.  Set for production at the German maker’s plant in Leipzig, it will be based on the LifeDrive platform, which uses an aluminum chassis and a carbon fibre-reinforced plastic, or CFRP, passenger cell.


BMW, PSA Peugeot Citroen Form Battery Car Joint venture

Makers plant to partner on hybrids and electric car technologies.

by on Feb.02, 2011

BMW will produce the Megacity urban battery-electric vehicle at its plant in Leipzig, Germany.

The electrification of the auto industry is clearly making for some strange bedfellows.  We’ve seen Toyota team up with the California start-up, Tesla Motors – which has also been working with Daimler on battery car technology for its Mercedes and Smart brands.  Ford is partnering with Magna and Azure Dynamics.  Chrysler will take lead in developing battery technology for its partner Fiat.  Nissan and European partner Renault have major plans for battery vehicles – and have also partnered with Daimler.

Now comes official confirmation that BMW will be allying itself with the French PSA Peugeot Citroen in a partnership that will help both manufacturers ramp up their hybrid efforts.  The new agreement expands upon a more limited battery car program they had tentatively initiated last autumn.

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The 50-50 joint venture, dubbed BMW Peugeot Citroen Electrification, will focus on developing and producing everything involved in electrification, from battery packs to motors, chargers all the way to the sophisticated software needed to make the systems run smoothly and efficiently.

The partners want to come up with an array of hybrid systems that will be able to plug-and-play with a wide variety of different BMW, Citroen and Peugeot vehicles.  While they are focusing on hybrid systems, it is believed likely they will also cooperate on more advanced battery-based propulsion systems, including plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs.