BMW explores the limits of electric drives

June 27, 2019 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
BMW explores the limits of electric drives
At its #NEXTGen future conference, BMW showed a lot of electrical stuff. Among other things, the test vehicle Power BEV will sound out the limits of the technically feasible within the framework of battery electric drive technology. The engineers also thought about an electrically powered motorcycle.

The Power BEV has three electric motors of the fifth generation and a system output of 530 kW (720 HP). Driven in this way, it can accelerate from 0 to 100 kmph in less than 3 seconds. However, the developers did not only want to implement the most impressive longitudinal dynamics possible, but also the same transverse dynamics - in other words, it should take curves about as fast as a fighter plane.

From the designers' point of view, the decisive factor is therefore the fact that the two electric motors on the rear axle can be controlled separately. In this way, torque vectoring can be achieved in which as much drive power as possible can be converted into propulsion, even during highly dynamic driving manoeuvres. The electronic control for torque vectoring is more sensitive and at the same time more effective than a mechanical limited slip differential, the designers say. The reason: While a limited-slip differential always only reacts to a speed difference at the drive wheels, electronic torque vectoring enables actively targeted interventions in any driving situation.

The powertrain is made up of three drive units of the fifth generation, each of which houses an electric machine with the associated power electronics and the output in a common housing. One is installed on the front axle, two on the rear axle, designed as a double drive unit. In addition to the performance, it is remarkable that this generation manages completely without rare earth materials.

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