The folks over at CarScoop did some digging through BMW CEO Dr. Norbert Reithofer’s speech at BMW Group’s Annual Accounts Press Conference and found some very interesting news about the automaker’s future plans with Project i.
Reithofer said that the 2009 Mini E plays a significant part in BMW drive towards electric-mobility. He said that the Mini E has become an industry leader with a 204-hp electric-motor that allows it to travel up to 155 miles on a single charge.
Nonetheless, Reithofer said that “it will take years and years before electric cars will be a common sight on our roads.” He said that BMW is working hard on developing solutions and is investing a lot in “creating a new era of mobility.
The second phase of Project i will be a new vehicle by the name of “Megacity Vehicle,” said Reithofer.
“This vehicle will be the first of a range of near-zero emission vehicles,” he said. “Customers will have the choice between a fully electric drive and a high-efficiency combustion engine. Large-scale production could start in the first half of the next decade.”
He said BMW is pursuing a radical approach to sustainable mobility with the Megacity Vehicle and hopes to move it through development into production and sales.
Excerpt from Norbert Reithofer’s Speech:
The MINI E is the first result of project i and our first milestone towards electric mobility. Once again, we are ahead of our competitors. The MINI E is currently being tested by 500 customers in California in everyday city life. Customers in Berlin and Munich are about to join the project.
This field test makes us the car company with the largest fleet of electric cars.
The MINI E is also a technology leader: Fully charged, the 204 hp car can go up to 250 kilometers. And this is a good thing because most drivers do not want to give up driving fun or dynamics””not even for the car of the future.
But euphoria is not called for””not yet anyway. It will take years and years before electric cars will be a common sight on our roads.
Why is that so? First off, electric cars do not meet all the different mobility demands. And secondly, there are many open questions””regarding affordable technology, battery lifecycles, infrastructure, etc. Currently all manufacturers””and our society for that matter””are going through a learning process.
There are still a lot of areas to be defined when it comes to electric mobility. Political decisions have to be taken on the EU level at the least. And Germany should play a driving role in this process.
But the point is that the BMW Group is working hard on developing solutions and that we are investing a lot of money in creating a new era of mobility.
The second specific result of project i will be our Megacity Vehicle.
This vehicle will be the first of a range of near-zero emission vehicles. Customers will have the choice between a fully electric drive and a high-efficiency combustion engine. Large-scale production could start in the first half of the next decade.
With the Megacity Vehicle, we are also pursuing a radical approach toward establishing a truly sustainable value chain””from development to production and sales.
Thanks to these efforts, we are at the forefront of sustainable mobility. So we are in an excellent position to define what premium will be in the future.
– By: Omar Rana