The German car maker designs a vehicle for populous cities.
by Dante’ A. Clemons
With a reported 70 percent of the earth’s population expected to live in cities by 2050, engineers, policy makers and urban planners are designing to meet demand. This new lifestyle change presents opportunities to improve how we design our living structures, infrastructure and transportation methods. Car maker BMW has responded to the projected increase of city dwellers with the design of its Megacity Vehicle. According to the company website, the vehicle aims to “create a more sustainable mobility for urban areas.” BMW classifies a megacity as an urban area with a population of six to eight million people. However, the vehicle is likely to be sold in smaller cities in the United States.
Designed particularly for the Chinese market, where congested traffic patterns and environmental pollution are a part of daily life, the Megacity Vehicle (MCV) will be a zero-emission, electrically powered car. It will hit the market in 2013 under an electric model sub-brand of BMW. It is probable that the sub-brand will expand to include two more models: a smaller Intracity Vehicle (ICV) and an Urban Commuter Vehicle (UCV). The ICV will be a two-door car introduced in 2015. The UCV is expected to be larger than the MCV with room to seat five people. It will be released in 2017.
BMW’s Megacity vehicle is an example of electro-mobility as a proposed design solution to urban transportation. E-mobility technology enables cars to be electrically charged, produce lower emissions and even be designed using lightweight, sustainable materials. As the design of cities and urban centers becomes more pressing, we can expect more organizations to generate solutions that tackle the urban issues of population densities, pollution and traffic control. I hope they all look this cool.