Sunday, November 7, 2010

BMW Builds Its First Hybrid Supercar, Invests $500 Million

bmw hybrid car
In an effort to keep up with global rivals, BMW said it would invest 400 million euros (560 million dollars) by 2013 to produce an electric car, AFP reported.

BMW is extending its plant in Leipzig to produce a series model auto it has dubbed Megacity.

The small, sporty-looking zero-emissions car will be built via BMW’s “LifeDrive” structure, that uses lightweight carbon fiber and aluminum. The Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) employed to the car’s body boosts efficiency because it’s significantly stronger than steel, but lighter than aluminum.

This is BMW’s way of playing catch up — given that rivals in Asia and the U.S. are about to launch the first slew of electric cars starting this year. Nissan will be out with the LEAF by December, Daimler, will have an all-electric SMART car by 2012, and Audi should be out with the e-tron by 2012 too.

Volkswagen recently said it will have an electric vehicle out by 2013.

According to AFP, the European Federation for Transport and Environment “singled out BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen for lagging behind in efforst to produce cars that will meet an EU target of 130 grammes of CO2 per kilometre (g/km) by 2015.”

The Megacity is estimated to cost less than 60,000 euros.

The company has also announced that it will build its first hybrid supercar, according to Bloomberg, to further meet new environment standards.

The car, dubbed the Vision Efficient Dynamics model, will accelerate to 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles) in 4.8 seconds while emitting 99 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer. Its doors open upwards and it’s powered by a three-cylinder diesel engine and two electric motors.

That gives it a similar acceleration rate to BMW’s M6, while emitting just 30 percent of the M6 coupe’s CO2 per kilometer.

The M6’s starts at $102,350 in the U.S.

This is clearly only meant for the luxury car drivers amongst us.

The company is also hoping the two new eco-conscious cars will boost sales to 2 million vehicles by 2020 from 1.4 million this year.

On a similar note, Porsche SE, is working with Volkswagen AG, to produce the 918 Spyder hybrid sports car, which features carbon fiber-reinforced plastics to reduce weight and emissions, Bloomberg added.

Mercedes doesn’t have a hybrid sports car out yet, but will have hybrid versions of it’s S, E and C class models.

It’s great to see luxury and sustainability go together, because it opens up the cars to a whole new segment of the population. The upper middle-class, educated family is most likely to buy a eco-friendly car — so we’re glad they’re providing them with options!

We can’t wait to sit in one of them.

source: alttransport