BMW and Locog unveil low-CO2 Olympic fleet

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

BMW and the London 2012 organising committee, Locog, yesterday revealed details of the 4,000-strong vehicle fleet the car-maker will be providing as Official Automotive Partner for this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Speaking at BMW’s Marsham Street showroom in central London, officials explained how the cars would be used for a huge range of tasks, from ferrying athletes around the capital to towing boats out of the water at the sailing events in Weymouth.

Setting the tone for the BMW effort is the London Games’ ambition to be the first truly sustainable Olympics. In fact Richard George, LOCOG’s Director of Transport, calls London 2012 a “public transport Games”, and it certainly will be for most of the spectators. But Usain Bolt can’t really be expected to buy himself an Oyster card and catch the tube or a red bus to the 100m finals, and visiting dignitaries need to be able to maintain their dignity as they move between Olympic venues as well - which is where the low-carbon vehicle fleet comes in.

BMW has come up with a carefully selected mix of cars for the Games that have average CO2 emissions in official tests of just 116g/km, and fuel consumption of 64.5mpg. That’s roughly on a par with the figures you’d normally expect of a small runabout like the Ford Ka but the BMW fleet has to  include a number of larger cars and SUVs in order to meet the diverse requirements of the Olympic organisers.

One high-profile contribution comes from the inclusion of 200 electric cars – 40 converted Minis and 160 plug-in ActiveE 1-Series – but range, space and other limitations mean that battery-powered vehicles can only pay a small role in reducing the fleet’s carbon footprint. Those electric BMWs will leave behind a useful piece of post-Olympics legacy though; 120 charging points are being set up at five separate locations and these will be absorbed into the Source London network of plug-in locations once the Games are over. BMW has provided an Olympic electric car before – a converted 1602, the “Schrittmacher” (pace-maker) was used when the Games were held in the company’s home city of Munich in 1972 - but London 2012 will also provide a glimpse of BMW’s electric future, with the highly innovative i3 and i8 models, due to go on sale in the next few years, being shown off in a stylish glassy pavilion in the Olympic park.

The backbone of the fleet, though, will be provided by economical diesel-powered Efficient Dynamics versions of BMW’s standard production 3 and 5-Series saloons. Both cars have the lowest CO2 outputs in their respective classes; 109g/km in the case of the 3 and 119g/km in the case of the 5. Together, these two models will make up more than half of the fleet – 1550 3-Series and 707 5-Series. Also putting in an appearance, albeit in far smaller numbers (just 20 will be on duty) will be the new hybrid version of the 5-Series. That combines electric power with a turbocharged petrol engine to deliver 44.1mpg and 149g/km of CO2 in official tests, and is the first of three hybrids BMW will put on sale this year.

There will also be 200 diesel-powered Mini Countrymans, and a limited number of SUVs – 17 X3s and 10 X5s – will be used for specialised roles such as towing boats and the horse ambulances for the equestrian events. Besides the main car fleet, BMW will provide 25 motorcycles, which will be used to support road-based events such as cycling, and 400 Streetcruiser bicycles, which will help officials and team members follow the rowing events. Finally, the fleet will quietly be rounded out with people-carriers from Citroën, because BMW doesn’t make vehicles of that type itself.

Delivering the official cars for the Olympics will provide plenty of glory for BMW but a couple of potential headaches as well. Former Olympian and triple-jump world record holder Jonathan Edwards explained at the fleet launch how important it was for the transport to run smoothly to get the athletes to their events without undue stress. Once BMW hands the cars over, though, that will mainly be Locog’s job, and they will be relying on a huge army of 7,000 trained volunteer drivers to get competitors and officials to the correct venues on time – no easy task given the complexity of the Olympic sites and the pressures of London traffic, even with the reserved lanes for official vehicles on the Olympic Route Network. After the Games, thousands of cars will be sent back to BMW, which will have to work out how to dispose of them, although the company is saying that they should easily be absorbed in the context of its UK operations, which sell 130,000 new and 95,000 used cars each year.

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
i100

Other places that have held independence referendums
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
news

Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'
film

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur
film

It scooped up an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards when it was first remade in 1959

News
news

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Arts and Entertainment
Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
theatreReview: Maxine Peake brings emotional ferocity to Shakespeare's starring part
Extras
10 best table lamps
indybest
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    IT Project Manager (technical, applications, infrastructure)

    £55000 - £60000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: IT Proj...

    English Teacher (Bristol and South Gloucestershire)

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Bristol: English teachers for day to day cover,...

    Teacher

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: Year 6 Teacher RequiredThis teaching...

    SharePoint Administrator - Bishop's Stortford / Stansted

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SharePoint Administrator - Bishop's ...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week