Paris To Test Banning Gas-Guzzlers – BMW’s Megacity Vehicle may arrive right in time

News | January 2nd, 2011 by 12
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In a recent interview with Dr. Philip Koehn, Head of BMW Vision EfficientDynamics program, we talked about the upcoming BMW Vision vehicle and other electric …

In a recent interview with Dr. Philip Koehn, Head of BMW Vision EfficientDynamics program, we talked about the upcoming BMW Vision vehicle and other electric vehicles that will join the BMW fleet in 2013. Among other interesting subjects, Dr. Koehn mentioned the possibility of several European cities to ban super sport cars within the city limits.

” A super sports car is charming, but we believe that sooner or later, these cars might not be allowed in the London congestion zone for example. The Vision Concept will not go against a Ferrari 458 on a racetrack, it was absolutely not designed for this. We really want to open up a dimension where one is socially accepted and you can enter into zones and areas where in 2013 or 2014 could possibly making difficult to allow conventional super sports cars.”

So it came to no surprise when Detroit Free Press reports on the city of Paris, France, planning to ban high-emissions vehicle from their city cores over the next ten years.

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Denis Baupin, an environmental official in the mayor’s office, said Wednesday that sport utility vehicles and old diesel cars are likely to be targeted in upcoming test restrictions. The details are still been drawn, but essentially the city of Paris will issue a list of vehicles that are being banned, the neighborhoods where the ban will take place, the daily time frame and of course, penalties or fines for those that don’t obey the city law.

Other French cities planning to test similar restrictions over the next two years include Lyon, Grenoble, and Aix-en-Provence.

According to the same newspaper, many other European cities, including London and Berlin, already have “low emission zones,” with varying restrictions on the type of vehicles targeted.

And this brings us to BMW’s upcoming sub-brand which will sell the electric vehicles developed under the Project i program. As we said in a previous editorial, in our opinion, Megacity Vehicle is BMW’s biggest bet ever, a gamble some may say, but a necessary step in the right direction according to others. BMW’s CEO can’t agree more: “The Megacity Vehicle is a must-have for BMW.”

BMW plans to launch their first Megacity in 2013 as a car that caters to mobility and urban environment. A city ban on gas-guzzler vehicles may work in BMW’s favor, since most of their European fleet has been becoming more and more fuel efficient over the last few years.

If the Megacity vehicle turns out to be as appealing and fun to drive as Adrian Von Hooydonk described it, then the Munich-based automaker will have a winner on their hands and the car will arrive at the right moment. The new “i” sub-brand is not expected to be profitable within the first few years after the launch, but a more wide ban in major European cities may overturn the predictions to a more favorable, faster outcome.

Nissan is betting on the same horse. Their all-star Leaf model will be built at the England’s Sunderland plant in early 2013 and the Japanese company is expected to produce over 50,000 units annually.

Expectations are that the new Megacity family will drive BMW into a new segment where they intend to become the world’s leader in premium electric vehicles, but at the same time, they will face an even large numbers of competitors, not just the premium ones.

12 responses to “Paris To Test Banning Gas-Guzzlers – BMW’s Megacity Vehicle may arrive right in time”

  1. Laszlo says:

    electric cars are NOT the future. If BMW thinks this way then they are betting on a wrong sector.

    In order to make electric cars and good batteries you need rare-earths and China who holds 93% of the worlds rare-earths already started to put limits/bans on the export. Soon they will raise the prices and limit the export to the limit that it is impossible to manufacture enough batteries, etc.
    Soon we will hear that the earth is running out of the rare-earths and we only have enough for 20-30 years. Just like we heard it about the oil. If you are old enough you remember the the 70’s oil embargo. The OPEC said we only have about 30 years of oil left. Well 30+ some years later the story is same, we only have about 30+ years left. BS.
    Oil reproduces itself as it always been and we have oil reserves for several hundred years. The trouble is the price, they (OPEC and people who holds the oil wells in hand) want it high. The lobbyist of the greens and economist wants it low. The balance is what we have, the 50-75usd price per barrel.
    Anything higher and it means there is a shortage of supply or threat, anything lower means good economy and no threat. So the threats will come and go as always been.
    Its same story as the global warming tale, which has already proved to be a hoax.
    Record ice thicknesses and record cold temperatures on earth along with information about other planets warming up in a past 10-15years proved that it wasn’t the gas guzzler what caused the higher temp but the sun and other factors. It is all back to normal, the stabilization is already happening. No worries mates, we won’t get sunburned in NY at December soon and we also won’t have shortage of oil in Texas anytime soon.

    good year to you all

  2. KOUKI507 says:

    I agree with you, we live in a world full of lies. And one of the biggest lies in my opinion, isn’t global warming in its self but his causes.

    Nevertheless, i still think electric cars can be a good thing. I’m not talking about small city cars like the Megacity. To me, those cars are a huge step back in the automotive developpement. I’m talking about proper electric sports cars. Think of the SLS E-Cell for instance…

    Once again, just like you said Laszlo, i don’t think batteries are the way to go if you are planning to build electric cars in big numbers. Technologies like the flywheel on the other hand are a good starting point if you ask me…

  3. Torsten says:

    Whats wrong with you freaks denying global warming and cars as a major course? Where do you live – on Mars?
    And then if Electric Cars are not the future – why don’t you tell us what is?

    • plaxico says:

      Mercedes BIOME !

    • L. Hamilton says:


      • Laszlo says:

        I agree that alternate energy source will be required. Not because we will run out of oil, nope. Emission requirements will dictate it. Hydrogen is a good one but there are several others already in a works.
        A gasoline engine with proper built can result in a greenest engine ! Electric engines are absolutely not as green as most people think. The energy you use must come from somewhere and guess what ? It is costly and has a huge emission factor. Self generating power sources and alternative fuel is a way.
        Somewhere in the close future we will see the real future cars when these bad hybrid ones dissapear. BMW even admitted that their hydrogen cars were better in every way then the hybrid, but they must follow what the public wants in order to generate profit.
        The electric cars and hybrids are popular now, so BMW jumped on the bandwagon and made some. Great but its not a future. Rare-earths are not called rare for accidents. If we use all, then guess what ? It will be same as the oil users, useless.
        Hydrogen we have unlimited sources. The Sun for example uses Hydrogen and helium and runs pretty efficient imho :-) and makes a bit more power then anything else we know at the moment. err. no the black holes are the biggest energy sources and guess what ? They are full with hydrogen too !!! dang, we must be on the correct way if we want to explore the hydrogen propelled cars :-)

        • BIMMER1 says:

          Just to correct one thing, BMW does not make a profit on any hybrids they are currently making. In fact, they lose 10’s of thousands of dollars on each one they sell. Just the tranmission in them alone costs over $40,000. It’s simply for PR and marketing.

    • Laszlo says:

      err, on Mars the temperature has been higher then usual in a past 15-20 years. So I guess those pesky martians used too much gas… or Al Gore must have used too much of his airplane fuel…. cars are the worst on Mars… damn.

      No Dude, sorry to break it to you global warming does not exist any more. Read on the issue. It was changed to global climate change 2 years ago and recently it was changed again to global climate destabilization. You can guess why the name changes but I can tell you one thing its not because it is still warming.

      The thickness of the ice on the N/S has been record thickness and unless you live on the Mars, record cold temperatures are happening every day. Ice age is coming … booo…

      Dude wake up, global warming is soo last year..

    • BIMMER1 says:

      Why don’t we ask the research team that took big wig environmentalists to the polar ice cap last year so they could witness global warming and it’s effects on the polar ice cap first hand. However there was one small problem. The team took them up there to show them how much of the ice had melted, only to find that there was more ice and colder temperatures than they thought. Then they got stuck in the ice for several days and a Russian ice breaker ship had to come save them. Mission accomplished!

  4. pimeto says:

    Laszlo: im happy to see people using their brains! Awesome post!
    Ive been saying this here and people were tumbing down everything – well i guess the ignorant stupid masses are hard to deal with, but who cares.

    Batteries are an electric source that had its course allready. There is nothing more to get from a battery – only to enlarge the volumes…
    So, A REAL alternative is needed.
    Well, this is the fashion trend for now…. we cant do anything about it – except not to buy those expensive automobiles and so on…
    This “news” is another pile of bullshit the corporations are pulling on the ignorant morons out there…. and to all of us.
    This global warming scam is starting to really piss me off…

  5. BIMMER1 says:

    So what happens if you already own a SUV and live in Paris? You’re not allowed to drive anymore and your SUV has no resale value due to no demand? Yup, that sounds like the French GOV to me.

  6. Ginoxford says:

    Umm why the focus on carbon emissions? This is clearly a story about urban pollution. Are you that ignorant?

    Also rare earths unlike oil is a reusable resource – you only require a finite amount.

    Laszlo appears to believe that Sun and Black holes are going to be hydrogen sources for us. I’ll leave it there.

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