Speaking in Beijing prior to the opening of the motor show, Norbert Reithofer, chairman of the board of Management of BMW AG, confirmed launch timing of the firm's first electric-drive offering, saying the Megacity Vehicle will go on sale starting in 2013. He also indicated that it will offer buyers a unique package that surpasses any current EV on the market. "With this innovative vehicle, designed from the ground up, we will be creating new benchmarks for electric mobility," said Reithofer. "Our Megacity Vehicle will be significantly lighter than conventional cars and, in terms of sustainability, will set a new standard across the entire value-added chain." Building on the experience it gleaned from the existing MINI E project that has over 600 of these electric-driven cars in use around the world as well as the 1 Series-based BMW Concept ActiveE vehicles that will go into test-fleet service starting next year, BMW is committing an impressive resource base to developing this as-yet-unseen urban commuter. Currently being developed as part of its "project i" program, the car will be marketed as a sub-brand, similar to BMW's M cars. With a structure that makes extensive use of ultralight composite CFRP (carbon fiber-reinforced plastic), the Megacity Vehicle promises to take EV design to a new level and in the word's of Reithofer, "radically alter the motor industry as we know it."

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