BMW's Newest Contributions to Green Transportation are Designed to Sell

Most major automobile developers have been rolling out their alternative transportation lines over the last couple of years to varying degrees of success. For some of Europe’s leading luxury automotive companies, however, their venture into green transportation has been fairly recent and German based automobile company BMW is no exception. Eager to stay at the top of the automobile industry in Europe, they have started a several year plan that will introduce a variety of new models along their various lines while expanding the company. Included in this plan are a few electric and hybrid models that BMW is hoping will appeal to buyers on the lookout for greener ways of traveling.

Introduced earlier this year at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show, BMW’s Concept ActiveE is one of the biggest in their plans to move forward with alternative transportation. Based on the BMW 1 Series Coupe, the ActiveE is an all-electric prototype that employs an engine design similar to the one found in Tesla’s Roadster.  The ActiveE, as it currently functions, would be similar to other all electric vehicles that would be found on the market with a range similar to that of the Nissan Leaf, a reported time of nine seconds when accelerating from 0-60, and a 125 kilowatt engine. BMW also said in their press release for the ActiveE that it would feature a system that would store and use electricity in a way that would increase the vehicle's range and would also feature a liquid battery cooling system. Despite having plenty of specifications on the vehicle, BMW has said little about their plans to distribute the ActiveE.

Another of the company’s alternative transportation plans falls in with the hybrid automotive crowd. BMW has announced two new designs for electric hybrid cars called the ActiveHybrid 7 and ActiveHybrid X6. BMW has stated that the vehicles are intended to be a way of providing a more fuel efficient transportation choice while also drastically reducing the carbon emissions a standard gasoline powered vehicle would give off during its normal operation. They have also revealed the 2010 BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics Edition, which does not feature any hybrid technology, but BMW claims the method in which the vehicles runs cuts down the carbon emissions that would normally be given off by a similar vehicle.

Though BMW seems to be just getting their foot in the door when it comes to alternative transportation, they do have some future designs up their sleeves that they hope to use as a compliment to some of the projects they are already working on. BMW plans to announce a brand new all electric vehicle by 2013 and also intends to uses the other brands it owns, such as MINI, to roll out other electric vehicles to a variety of markets. Whether it will be enough to stay on top while competing with companies like Volkswagen or Mercedes Benz, there is no telling, but it is at least nice to see some green designs coming out of BMW’s research departments.

Photo Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

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