back to article BMW, Fiat partner to dominate small e-car biz?

Will 2011 see the release of new electric Minis, Isettas and Topolinos? It's just possible if news from Auto Express is to be believed. The paper claims BMW – which owns Mini – and Fiat are working together on the development of a range of cars that will available with both electric and ultra-frugal petrol power, and will meet …


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  1. Neil Hoskins
    Thumb Down

    What's in a Brand?

    Isetta? <SPLORF!>. If the laughingly-branded, Mini, Fiat 500, VW Beetle, and Panda are anything to go on, the new Isetta will be the size of a Cadillac. Even the Smart is getting gradually bigger and heavier with each model. What next? A Trojan the size of an small bus? Or mabe a Bond coming in at the size of a Lincoln Continental? The ultimate insult would be a Peel the size of a Rolls Royce.

    I recommend the Bubblecar Museum in Lincolnshire if you want to see how to make a small car. The current mainstream carmakers are just fucking clueless.

  2. filey
    Thumb Down


    With the reputation Italian cars have for electrical problems, i would say It isn't going to happen

  3. Martin Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    reality vs marketing

    Board = We need a small,cheap economical car

    Engineer = done

    Marketing = Our customer focus group want more cup-holders, and 6 sears, and seat back DVDs, a 3.5L hemi, chunky off-road bumpers ..... redesign it

    Engineering = done

    Board = Our last car was a failure, we need a small,cheap economical car


    It's the same thing with netwbooks with 12" screens, cell phones with 10Megapixel cameras and 30min battery life.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    PML Mini QED

    Perhaps they are confusing the Official Mini E with the PML Mini QED which uses the HiPa Drive system that ford are thinking abouty using in the F150 Pickup and Volvo /Saab are considering...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh yes there is an electric mini....

    See this web page...

    This was a one off technology Mule to test the system.

    It was developed using in wheel motors from PML...

    The current project is now being run by Hi-Pa drive... who are working with Volvo and Ford.

    I tried to get some of the motors on a one off basis from PML for a kit car project.... But they were not intersted. PML only really want to work with the Big Manufacturers. Shame really cos you could build a really neat Caterham with these in wheel motors.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    kill me now

    If it comes out looking like a Mini. Ugliest piece of crap, ever.

  7. Anonymous Coward


    Looks Like I beat you with that post..

    Interesting I also wanted some to put into an MK indy... prolly would be better than my 2l lump.. Prolly wont be long till theres a leccy kit at stoneliegh...


    Also Heinkel, Messersmidt, et al

    Having driven several bubble cars during the late 50s my wife I recall our great pleasure & enjoyment. Bring them on!

  9. Matt
    Paris Hilton

    Electric cars, eh?

    In Britain we're going to be lucky if the National Grid has sufficient capacity to power our low-energy lightbulbs (get 5 for only £0.50 at your local Morissons today!) in 10 years time, let alone anything as power hungry as a fopping car. We need new power stations stat, and plenty of 'em!!

    Paris, because only when the entire nation is plunged into darkness will she become the brightest bulb in the box.

  10. smashIt


    Bayerischer MistWagen mit Fehlern In Allen Teilen

    use your favourite german/english translator ;)

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Kill Me Now...

    @AC - If it comes out looking like a Mini. Ugliest piece of crap, ever.

    The Mini is actually kind of cute compared to that FUGLY Dodge Magnum... can't see a d**n thing out the back or rear side windows. Glad I only rented one for a few days.

    Paris, 'coz she wouldn't have a Magnum either...

  12. Anonymous Coward

    FIAT? FIAT? Bloody FIAT?

    Christ don't know that leccy and water are dangerous combinations.

    Yes may be safe now, but when the heap of crap, rust bucket has more holes than Playboy mansion, I sure as hell won't drive one!

  13. Andy

    Have BMW learned nothing?

    BMW choose Fiat?

    Were the Bavarian 'funsters' still on a come-down from a weekend of hard MDMA abuse?

    My brother worked for the said motor manufacturer and stated categorically:

    "The designs look ok, but everything else in them is shit!"

    I see pain ahead.....

  14. Pete James

    Oh grow up

    As ever, out of date bollocks written by people who listen to their fat gobshite mate down the pub and believe it to be gospel.

    Italian cars are no more susceptable to electrical failures than vehicles from Japan are prone to rust or French ones falling apart. No, they're not, don't make things up about owning 319 Italian cars and they have all been wired badly etc. You're lying and you know it.

    As for that rag Auto Express, if they wrote the grass is green and the sky is blue I'd take a look out the window. They conjure up bad Photoshop pics and pass them off as genuine, or use third party drawings to fool people into thinking they have genuine insight when they have no more than a few crumbs of a passing conversation. A dire publication that should be embarrassed by it's mediocrity.

    Coincidentally, I've been given details about a platform and technology initiative being discussed between two certain automotive companies as well. Hardly a new idea and cost reduction being all the rage right now it makes good business sense.

  15. TeeCee Gold badge

    @Pete James

    Nope, it's all true. Never heard the one about rusty japmobiles though.

    I had a FIAT Croma on hire recently. Usual FIAT electrics, lucky lotto as to what worked and what didn't when I switched it on. No change since the '70s there. Are you a FIAT salesman by any chance?

    I also recently spent a few years in the Czech Republic. At the start I was flown over for three days to find a house. During those days (and remember, this is a place where every antique Soviet Bloc vehicle ever made was to be found at the time), I saw two cars broken down at the side of the road. A Citroen AX and a Peugeot 206.

    Last, but not least. A couple of years ago a mate and I were driving down the A1 in his Nissan Primera. It broke down. When the recovery service arrived, we were told that there was nothing they could do but tow it, as they had no Nissan parts or manuals because they never break down. When we queried this, due to the rather obvious broken-down Nissan next to us, they helpfully pointed out that serving that stretch of the A1 for the AA*, RAC*, Green Flag, Europ Assistance, etc. this was the second Nissan they'd seen in five years(!) When we asked what kept them in business, the reply was "Anything French. Or Italian.".........

    *Yes, both use third party contractors when they have nothing available themselves.

  16. Pete James

    @ TeeCee

    No I'm not a FIAT salesman. I'd have a lot more time on my hands if I was.

    I have however owned two FIATs, three Alfas and currently have two Ducatis. None, not one, have ever suffered electrical problems.

    So you're assertion that it's true is bollocks. It's no more than anecdotal experiences, same as mine.

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