BMW ActiveE to Take Center Stage at London Olympics

May 14, 2012 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
PEABODY, Mass., May 14, 2012 In its quest to put on the greenest Olympic Games in modern history, London has tapped the help of luxury automaker BMW for a fleet of more than 2,700 low-emission vehicles. Offered in a limited trial lease at U.S. BMW dealerships earlier this year, the all-electric BMW ActiveE will play a pivotal role in the upcoming events, with 160 models transporting Olympic athletes and supporting the Olympic Torch Relay leading up to the games this summer.

As the Official Automotive Partner of the London 2012 Olympic Games, BMW was charged with the task of keeping its fleet's average emissions below 120 grams of CO2 per kilometer, which is well below the UK's new-car emissions average of 138 grams of CO2 per kilometer. With the help of the BMW ActiveE and fuel-efficient diesel models of the BMW 3 Series and 5 Series, the fleet averages 116 grams of CO2 per kilometer, the equivalent of 64.5 mpg on the European cycle.

"BMW's Olympic fleet shows just how far they've come in terms of fuel efficiency; they now have vehicles like the ActiveE that give off less emissions than the Olympic torch itself," said Marshal Cabot, general manager of Greater Boston BMW dealership BMW of Peabody. "In a city as densely populated as London, the emissions of future vehicles will make a huge impact on air quality and the environment, and cars like the ActiveE can play a critical role."

Secondary to their transportation duty at the games, BMW ActiveE fleet vehicles will be used to draw attention to London's new EV charging stations and highlight the automaker's current drive to advance sustainable urban transportation. Using BMW's eDrive technology, the ActiveE runs with a 170-horsepower electric motor and lithium-ion batteries to offer drivers a range of approximately 100 miles between charges.

BMW engineers will use data gathered from the ActiveE's use at the Olympic Games and its two-year-lease field trials to help refine its eDrive powertrains for future vehicles. The new technology was most recently incorporated in the BMW i8 Concept Spyder, a plug-in hybrid sports car that debuted at the Beijing Auto Show in April. Matching a 131-horsepower electric motor with a three-cylinder turbocharged gas engine outputting 223 horsepower, the two-seat convertible can go from 0 - 62 mph in just five seconds.

Following the introductions of the BMW i3 Concept and i8 Concept coupe last year, the BMW i8 Concept Spyder features a body design concept called LifeDrive. By integrating the heavy lithium-ion battery into the vehicle's drive structure, BMW is able to keep the open-air i8's center of gravity low while simultaneously improving driving dynamics. Meanwhile, the use of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic in cabin construction keeps the rest of the vehicle lightweight for maximum acceleration and fuel efficiency.

"It used to be that the more cylinders a sports car had, the better performance it provided, but that's not necessarily true anymore," added Cabot. "The i8 Concept Spyder uses turbocharging and a boost from the electric motor to do things that weren't previously possible with a three-cylinder engine. With that mix of power and fuel efficiency, i8 Spyder drivers will be able to have their cake and eat it too if production plans are announced."

About BMW of Peabody:
Located minutes from downtown Boston on Route 114, BMW of Peabody takes pride in offering some of the world's finest vehicles, backing up every new and used BMW sale with their expert, customer-focused sales and service staff. Recognized as a leading Greater Boston BMW dealer, BMW of Peabody is a five-time winner of the prestigious Center of Excellence Award and offers two BMW service centers to fit the schedules of its busy customers. See their full BMW inventory online at www.bmwpeabody.com, like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bmwofpeabody, visit their showroom at 221 Andover Street in Peabody or call them at 978-538-9900.