BMW and Daimler to cooperate on EV project image

German auto giants BMW and Daimler have joined forces to help come up with the design for the electric car of the future.

The Visio.M EV project is intended for urban drivers who neither need nor want a heavy car. Those in the Visio.M program started with the premise that an EV should not have its design based upon the old, combustion paradigm.

Germany’s federal ministry for education and research has contributed 10.8 million euros ($13.8 million) to the project, and BMW has been appointed lead manager in the program that brings together more than 15 private companies and public associations from across the country.

A basic concept has already been theorized: a small hatchback weighing just 880 pounds without its battery and propelled by an electric motor rated at just 20 horsepower.

While there are no official photos of the concept, Visio.M will use similar technology to the MUTE prototype pictured here, a car TUM scientists have used to study areas such as propulsion and energy storage.

Both BMW and Mercedes-Benz are well advanced in their own separate EV development. The BMW i3city car will hit the market next year, while Mercedes has been extensively testing its E-Cell system ahead of an anticipated launch in the not-too-distant future.