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BMW in battery power tests

European cities are to be included in BMW plans to evaluate electric power for family cars.After it reveals its Mini E model at the Los Angeles Auto Show next month, the German company’s Oxford factory will produce 500 battery-driven models for tests in California, New York and New Jersey.

But the first development in the firm’s Project I initiative will also involve motorists in Europe.

“The decisions as to where the experiments will be run have yet to be made, but European drivers will play an important role in deciding our course for the future,” said Ian Robertson, the BMW AG management member responsible for sales and marketing.

Robertson told AM that even though its Efficient-Dynamics programme had given it a market advantage, BMW had set up the two-year Project I to carry out further research in reducing the cost of mobility.

“The investigation is all-embracing and there are no constraints. There’s no one answer to the powertrain of the future. EfficientDynamics is multi-faceted and will feature lightweight materials and hybrid drive next year, but we will not put all our eggs in one basket,” said Robertson.

US customers will lease the electric models for 12 months and the agreements will include any technical service, maintenance and parts replacement.

With 220Nm of torque, the car reaches 62mph in 8.5 seconds, has a top speed of 95mph and a 125-mile range.

Initially, it seats only two because the lithium-ion battery takes up much of the rear passenger compartment. 

The battery can be fully charged in two-and-a-half hours via a wallbox.

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