BMW Brilliance, the China joint venture company formed by the BMW Group and Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd., unveiled the Zinoro 1E battery-electric vehicle (BEV) at the Guangzhou Auto Show. The EV is the first product of the company’s new brand, the first e-drive SAV built in China, and the first new energy vehicle (NEV) from a Chinese premium manufacturer.
BBA said that it is not aiming at volume sales of Zinoro 1E, but is using it to build the Zinoro (Zhi Nuo, 之诺, in Chinese) brand image, increase customer understanding and acceptance of electric vehicles, and drive the commercialization of electric vehicles in China.
Equipped with a lithium iron phosphate battery pack from Ningde Times New Energy Technology, the Zinoro 1E has a range of up to 150 kilometers (93 miles). Charging of the battery takes around 7.5 hours with a 16A wallbox. A 125 kW electric motor is mounted on the rear axle, and produces peak torque of 250 N·m (184 lb-ft). Top speed is 130 km/h (81 mph), which is electronically limited.
BBA converted an existing BMW product (X1) to create the Zinoro 1E. Three battery packs are mounted at the front under the engine hood, the center and the rear replacing traditional gasoline tank. The battery has passed vibration and crash testing.
A liquid thermal management system keeps the battery pack at an ideal working temperature, prevents over-heating and allows high performance with no compromise on safety and lifetime. The battery passed strict tests under extreme weather conditions in Yakeshi and Tulufan, the company said.
The battery management system monitors the working conditions of the battery in real time and responds to unusual situations within 30 milliseconds by cutting the connections with the electronic devices.
Product development of ZINORO 1E has been underway along with the work on the brand side since early 2012 when the new brand project was approved by both shareholders. BBA’s R&D team has kept on growing to support the new brand project; a new R&D Center was officially opened in September 2013 with a dedicated NEV Technology Center. By the end of 2013, the BBA R&D team will reach 500 people and the majority will be Chinese.
The local R&D team at BBA took full responsibility for the Zinoro 1E project; the vehicle is built in the Tiexi plant.
BBA plans only to lease the Zinoro 1E. ZINORO will build city showrooms in Beijing and Shanghai for brand communication and customer service. The Beijing Zinoro city showroom will open early next year to offer premium services of electric vehicle to both private and institutional customers in the local market.
In close collaboration with BMW i, BMW Brilliance is working with related authorities and the third parties such as grid companies and property management to build up the local charging infrastructure and offer convenient charging solutions for the customers.