BMW explores the limits of electric drives: Page 2 of 2

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 test vehicle was based on a current production vehicle from the BMW 5 Series. The integration of such a drive into a production vehicle is considered an essential engineering achievement. Thus, the entire passenger compartment of this vehicle was completely preserved without any restrictions. This makes it easier to assess the drive concept in comparison with others. The engineers were thus able to better analyse the possibilities offered by two separately controllable e-machines with E-Torque vectoring on the rear axle. This makes it possible to select the appropriate technology for future series vehicle projects. Thus, it will also be possible in the future to provide the customer with the appropriate technology in the respective vehicle concept.

BMWs engineers were also musing about an electric drive for its motorcycles, which perhaps could replace the traditional boxer engine. As a result of its thinking process, the company presented the Vision DC Roadster, a "naked bike" with electric drive.

In a motorcycle, the engine is the core, a supporting functional element. It forms the basis for the entire architecture. However, electric drive components place completely different demands on the installation space. While the engine size of an internal combustion engine is primarily determined by its displacement, the battery is the most expansive element in electric drives. The electric motor itself is relatively compact.

The previous engine is replaced by a vertically installed, longitudinally oriented energy storage unit. Two elements with cooling fins and integrated fans protrude sideways to cool it. The cylindrical electric drive is located under the energy storage unit and is directly connected to the cardan shaft. The company did not provide any further information on the technology - whether the motorcycle is equipped with modern stabilisation and driver assistance systems remains in the dark for the time being.


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