Sunday, July 04, 2010

Lithium Drive: Small Electric Mega City BMW for the World’s Very Big Cities TNR.v, CZX.v, BMW, TSLA, RM.v, LI.v, LMR.v, WLC.v, CLQ.v, RTP, FCX, LUN.to




"In order to bring reality into the recent hype with Tesla IPO, we need EVs on the streets as soon as possible. Tesla's IPO showed that there is an appetite for the sector and nobody would like to miss it, we can be sure that it put Electric Fever on investor's radar screens. How the TSLA stock will behave before Model S will hit the road and company will continue its losses is another matter: we have addressed it in Electric Car Value Chain. In order to talk about EV mass market we need GM Volt and Nissan Leaf to be on the roads later this year. Electric Cars is a geopolitical play - who will be able to get off the Oil needle first China or U.S Corp? Obama knows it and he is pushing for new legislation, Big Oil will strike back for sure and here where people will be able to vote for real with their choice. What will be the adoption rate of EVs: one of Washing Machines or Mobile Phones one with an explosive growth? It will be the key to low profile small lithium development sector. Markets caps are so small that with one Tesla IPO you can get reasonable amount of control in the entire sector in Canada now. We do not think that it is for long any more. With Electric Cars available on the streets Lithium sector will pick up again into the next Bull Leg from recent consolidation stage. Not all wanna be in Lithium will make it and time is to pick the winners during the summer downturn. Scared Fed will help us with Catalyst as well: Helicopters are coming with cash again and markets will be probably saved again to fool investors with nominal returns. Watch the US Dollar for the answers as well."



The New York Times:


Envisioning a Small Electric BMW for the World’s Very Big Cities


By PHIL PATTON
Published: July 1, 2010


FUTURISTS are talking about the effects of megacities — often defined as cities of more than 10 million people — and so, too, are designers devising new types of vehicles for the world’s congested metropolitan areas.

The United Nations estimates that the population of cities, now 3.2 billion, will rise to 5 billion by 2030. And by 2050, the U.N. projects, 70 percent of the world’s population will live in cities. How will drivers (and those who co-exist with drivers) cope?

Automakers are looking at ways to reduce the automotive footprint. General Motors has shown its EN-V, for Electric Networked-Vehicle, a podlike two-seater for the megacities of 2030. It is currently being demonstrated at the Expo 2010 world’s fair in Shanghai.

Ford showed its Start concept car at the Beijing auto show this year. The Start is built of composite panels on a metal frame, with a shape that recalls the New Beetle and Mini Cooper.

Now BMW is offering a glimpse of its Mega City Vehicle, or MCV, an urban electric car that is to arrive in 2013.

In briefings this week, BMW mostly discussed the car’s materials and technology. But Adrian van Hooydonk, director of BMW Group Design, also talked about the MCV’s design. In a telephone interview, he said the Mega City would be part of an entire new BMW subbrand. The challenge, he said, is whether BMW “can produce a car that is both sustainable and premium.”

BMW knows how to create premium products. “They are highly emotional, with refined materials and high level of attention to detail,” Mr. van Hooydonk said. “But there was a belief that premium and sustainable could not go together.”

The company assembled a special group to speed the project to completion. “We put a team together of 15 exterior and interior designers, together with engineers, he said. “If you want to create something very new in a short time frame you have to have everybody sitting together.”

The team is led by Benoit Jacob, a French designer who worked on a successful small car, the Dacia Logan, before he left Renault for BMW.

New technologies offered the possibility of a radically different look, but Mr. Jacob’s team ultimately retained some of the traditional cues of a small sporty car.

Still, the all-electric propulsion system — and the absence of a large internal combustion engine up front — let the designers alter the car’s proportions. And the use of very light carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic for the body required a new design sensibility: drawings that translate nicely into steel may appear less felicitous in plastic.

“It is sometimes hard for designers to get their heads around the change,” Mr. van Hooydonk said. He added, “The chance to work on such a new formula is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

The Mega City Vehicle is imagined not simply as an in-city errand hauler, but as a commuter car. “In the beginning of the program we asked, what does ‘megacity’ mean?’” he said. “What kind of people will drive this car? What will they do everyday?”

He noted that while “many people are looking forward to zero-emission cars,” some worry about the vehicles’ range and their safety. “Many are afraid they will have to give up coolness or sense of style,” he said. “People fear that a responsible car might look ugly or weird.”

To find ways to reassure them, Mr. van Hooydonk said, the designers looked not so much at other cars as at other sustainable products, from food to furniture. Most sustainable products involved sacrifice; BMW’s design team did not think people would be willing to sacrifice much with a car.

The MCV looks sportier than most electrics. The front end is short, but the dynamic sweep of the roof and beltline (the line that runs below the side windows) keep it from being podlike.

“It will look stable and solid on its wheels,” Mr. van Hooydonk said.

One bit of pizazz suggested in the sketch is a jagged bar of lighting, probably intended to be LEDs, running from the headlamps to the mirrors.

The sketch does not show the front of the MCV, and Mr. van Hooydonk was elusive when asked if it would wear BMW’s signature kidney grille or another face, like the Mini.

BMW’s advertising celebrates the joy of driving, and Mr. van Hooydonk said the MCV would be fun to drive. “Electric cars are not slow,” he said, though no one should expect blistering M3-style performance. “It will celebrate the good life,” he said, “over the fast life.”

A version of this article appeared in print on July 4, 2010, on page AU2 of the New York edition.
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