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      06-16-2008, 03:29 PM   #1
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BMW Confirms plans for "zero-emissions" vehicle

In March BMW announced that it would establish a new research division called ‘Project i,’ whose task will be to develop a number of solutions for a vehicle designed for congested city motoring. The goal of Project i was never to exclusively develop one type of vehicle or another, but to come up with a range of technologies BMW could introduce across its fleet or even under a rumored fourth brand (the first three being BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce).

Project i will run independently to BMW and has been given until the middle of the next decade to develop a concrete solution for the city car. Speaking with Automotive News Europe, BMW Group representative for environmental protection and sustainability Herbert Höltschl confirmed that BMW wants to eventually produce a zero-emissions vehicle, but explained that Project i has also been tasked with coming up with innovative production techniques that reduce energy and water usage.

Höltschl also revealed that BMW’s future city car will be developed for global consumption, but stressed that its technology will be advanced enough to maintain BMW’s performance driving image. BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer, meanwhile, has previously stated that a decision on the drive system will be made by the end of the year.