BMW is one step closer to getting its upcoming Megacity electric vehicle on the road. According to the German automaker, SB LiMotive, a 50:50 joint venture of Bosch and Samsung SDI, has been officially selected as the battery supplier for the Megacity project. Samsung, which is already a market leader in batteries for personal electronics applications, will reportedly deliver the individual lithium ion battery cells while Bosch will handle the job of assembling these cells into large-scale packs
BMW Chairman Norbert Reithofer has reportedly confirmed a new eco-friendly machine called the Megacity Vehicle as part of the automaker's Project i. Beyond the name, details are sketchy. According to Reithofer, "Customers will have the choice between a fully electric drive and a high-efficiency combustion engine. Large-scale production could start in the first half of the next decade."
We've been hearing rumblings that BMW and Fiat were working together on the development of future small vehicle platforms for a while now. With the German automaker working on an Isetta revival and the Italian firm moving forward with a new Topolino, it makes some sense that the two companies would join forces on a single platform sharedbetween the two small retromobiles.
From user omolody on Flickr.
This latest rendering of the long-rumored return of the Isetta brand, an offshoot of BMW, looks much more modern than any previous rendering that we've seen of the rolling mini-retro-mobile. According to the accompanying report on Autocar, the rear-engined zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) has indeed been approved by BMW, though we've heard nothing truly official as of yet. If true, the U.S. would be the likely first market to see the Isetta, possibly as early as 2012.
BMW's U.S. success means that come 2012, it will be considered a large vehicle manufacturer here in the States. In preparation for that, BMW will decide this year on whether to make "an ecologically-compatible car for the U.S. market," most likely to help the automaker meet more stringent CAFE standards that are forthcoming. Incredibly, for a company known for its engines, this newest car venture would probably run on batteries according to CEO Norbert Reithofer. We mentioned that BMW is conside
Over recent months a collage of rumors surrounding a fourth brand under the BMW umbrella have been circulating, which may now be coming into clearer focus. With government fuel economy and emissions standards tightening both in the US and abroad, BMW, like other carmakers, is being forced to develop more earth-conscious vehicles to offset the fire-breathing monsters from their M division and the behemoths from Rolls-Royce.
Auto Express is reporting that BMW is currently considering bringing back the Isetta, the three-wheel mini car with a door where the hood should be that achieved pop-culture celebrity status as the personal whip of Urkel on the sit-com Family Matters (did I just date myself?). Unlike the original, the modern interpretation will have four wheels and two doors on the sides (damn safety regulations), but it will retain the rear-engine layout of the original. While BMW has not corroborated any of th