Electric power and lightweight design will be at the core of the BMW Megacity Vehicle due to hit the showrooms in 2013.
BMW claims that the Megacity Vehicle will be the wold’s first volume-produced vehicle with a passenger cell made from carbon. The Megacity will also feature what BMW calls their LifeDrive architecture. LifeDrive incorporates a completely re-designed electric motor, electronics and battery system that’s being designed in-house.
The LifeDrive concept consists of two horizontally separated, independent modules. The Drive module integrates the battery, drive system and structural and crash functions into a single construction within the chassis.
Its partner, the Life module, consists primarily of a high-strength and extremely lightweight passenger cell made from CFRP. Furthermore, the new vehicle architecture opens the door to totally new production processes which are both simpler and more flexible, and use less energy.
While electric vehicles are frequently far heavier than their conventionally powered equivalents BMW believes that the combination of carbon passenger cell and LifeDrive architecture will offset the weight of the electric vehicle by 250 to 350 kilograms.