BMW Confirms Status of New Megacity Vehicle and Inks Battery Deal
While hard facts remain few, Dr. Norbert Reithofer, chairman of the board of management of BMW AG, has offered a bit more insight regarding the marketing path the automaker plans for its upcoming eco-oriented advanced mobility vehicles. Contrary to earlier reports that indicated BMW would create and support a fully separate brand, Dr. Reithofer stated that the Megacity Vehicles currently under development by the firm's free-thinking project i group will be sold as a sub-brand that carries both BMW and vehicle-specific badging, echoing the approach used on its high-performance "M" cars. He also indicated that the pure-electric efforts being developed by project i would not necessarily be limited to vehicles with four wheels, raising the intriguing possibility that the Megacity lineup might include motorcycles and scooters, as well. The first of this new strain of greener, more "sustainable" Megacity Vehicles is expected to hit the showrooms around 2012-13 along with other innovative variations that employ advanced gas/diesel/hybrid powertrains. Speculation exists that it may incorporate a 21st century twist to the name of BMW's original micro-classic and be called the "i-Setta" or possibly carry an "MCV" badge. For now, all we know for sure is that the project i team is closely monitoring real-world experiences of 600 people in the U.S., England and Germany who are currently driving its previous electric vehicle effort: the MINI E. To fill its future battery needs, BMW also announced a deal with SB Limotive, a joint venture between Robert Bosch GMBH and Samsung SDI, to have it supply a variety of advanced Lithium-ion batteries for vehicles in the Megacity program.