Monday, February 22, 2010

BMW will build electric cars in Leipzig


It's been crystal clear for some months that BMW would be making more EVs after getting nothing but high praise for its little 500 car MINI E experiment. Not so much for the logistical foul ups in their haste to deploy the fleet in time for valuable CARB credits, but for the giggle-inducing speedster they unleashed on the world.

Thanks to Tom Gage and Alan Cocconi's world-class motor/controller combo, the famed ACP 150, BMW proved that a mid-priced electric pocket-rocket could be made. With what they learned burning a hole in their corporate pocket, the Bavarian engineers are busily refining designs for multiple electric BMWs.

They plan to build them in Leipzig with the initial cars hitting showrooms around mid-2013.

The first to market will be a subcompact they dubbed the "Megacity" car. It will approximate the MINI E in size, and while I doubt it'll be powered by ACP motors, one can hope.

Considering how many cities the world over are crushed with clogged arteries coursing with pollution-spewing internal combustion vehicles that continue to pollute while sitting in traffic, the thought of a small, easily maneuvered and quick off the line, city car that doesn't pollute at all, will appeal to millions.

Remember, it's never about who can't use a car like that, it's about those who can. Turns out, there are tens of millions who fall into that category.

Tens of millions.

I don't know about you, but I can't wait till the day when it's rare to see an internal combustion car. At some point, they'll be anachronistic reminders of a day when people didn't think twice about spewing poisons into the common airshed. Like smoking in line at the grocery store, you won't believe people used to do it everywhere.

49 comments:

  1. I love the "smoking in line at the grocery store" analogy -- or a movie theater, or an airplane. Great point.

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  2. Great news! I wonder if the BMW products (my marque of choice for years) will arrive before the Aptera I ordered?? I'm kinda hoping they will.

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  3. Great analogy!! Will borrow that one for sure. BMW will hopefully match what the new Tesla S will do. That would force the competition to the table as well. Really exiting news.

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  4. People used to smoke in lines at the market??

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  5. Paul, I agree with the others -- you really are one of the great writers on the subject. For what it's worth, the analogy I use is women wearing mink coats -- all the rage in the mid-60s, but completely gone from our culture a few years later, when we all gasped in the collective recognition that it was simply *wrong.* And this is exactly what I expect will happen with internal combustion engines: they will soon be regarded as something we used to do -- that no longer has a place in our world.

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  6. Saw one of the Minis owned by the City of Pasadena yesterday. Sweet ride!

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  7. Here's a comment on your writing style and the importance of all this that I just posted on 2GreenEnergy: http://2greenenergy.com/paul-scott-and-plug-in-america/2633/.

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  8. Very nice essay Paul. Your paragraph starting with... " Remember.. Its now about who can't use (the electric) car..."

    I now have your QUOTE right next to our friend Ed Bagley Jr...." What the detractors and critics of Electric cars have been saying for years is TRUE....."

    Steve Lough
    President
    Seattle EV Association
    stevenslough1206@google.com

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  9. This is exciting news! Curious to know if you could have any EV today, which one would you get? Tesla, Mini E, LEAF, Toyota FT-CH? How do we start to judge which is better?

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  10. GoSustaino, no question, I'd take a Tesla! Of course, that's without consideration of price. I don't have that kind of money, so being realistic, I'd probably got with the Leaf.

    And to answer Bill's question about smoking in grocery stores, yes, they smoked everywhere! I was an early anti-tobacco activist and we struggled to get any concessions against smokers who felt it perfectly OK to pollute our air. It's still going on, but to a much lesser extent. It wasn't that long ago that I'd be sitting toward the back of an airplane and the rows directly behind me were filled with smokers puffing away. Hard to imagine now, but it's recent history.

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  11. Paul,
    Great, passionate commentary. I, too, am eagerly awaiting the day when spewing out pollution from your car's tailpipe in public is viewed the same way as smoking in public is.

    It's truly amazing -- and troubling -- to me that so few people appear to care about air pollution. Yes, there's a core group of greenies who do, but the vast majority of folks don't care -- yet.

    Hopefully, we can raise people's awareness soon -- and as quickly as possible.

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  12. Paul-
    You didn't mention the BMW ActiveE that they are promising in 2011! They mentioned extending some of the MINI E leases until the ActiveE comes out. Unfortunately, it will NOT come with an AC150.

    -Colby

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  13. It's truly amazing -- and troubling -- to me that so few people appear to care about air pollution. Yes, there's a core group of greenies who do, but the vast majority of folks don't care -- yet.

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  14. I think you made the right decision, and I agree with Gard that it's a tough decision. I loved that you mentioned. I think this is all too true. It's truly amazing and troubling to me that so few people appear to care about air pollution.

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