The current electric cars are heavy and too expensive, which prevents them from being a true alternative to conventional cars. BMW and Daimler have joined forces with scientists at the Technical University Munich to develop an electric car that is efficient, safe and inexpensive.
The current electric cars are heavy and too expensive, which prevents them from being a true alternative to conventional cars. BMW and Daimler have joined forces with scientists at the Technical University Munich to develop an electric car that is efficient, safe and inexpensive. BMW is the lead manager of the Visio.M research project that has received $14 million in funding from the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF).
The group feels that since electric cars are silent and have zero emissions they are an important option for future individual mobility in urban areas and beyond. But on the way to mass production of electric vehicles, there are still significant technological hurdles to overcome. Previous small electric vehicles offer only a minimum level of vehicle safety and therefore are not mass-marketable. Electric cars that were derived from gasoline-powered models are usually too heavy and require large and expensive batteries.
The goal of the project is to explore how the price and safety of small, efficient electric vehicles can be brought to a level enabling them to achieve a significant share of the mass market. The mobility concept deriving from these visionaries will be a vehicle with only 20 horsepower and that weighs only 800 pounds without the battery. It will also meet the requirements of the European regulatory category L7e.
The partners plan to use the electric vehicle prototype MUTE developed by the TUM as their test carrier to explore innovations and new technologies for vehicle safety, propulsion, energy storage, and operational concepts for implementation under the framework requirements of large-scale production. Despite the prototype’s light weight, Visio.M expects it to be as safe as a traditional car.