Project Visio.M is exploring how to bring an efficient electric vehicle to mass market but at an affordable price and with the same levels of safety as current combustion vehicles.

The automotive industry has just begun its shift from black industry to green technology, and it is well known that current electric and hybrid vehicles on offer to consumers are far from ideal. Therefore, the pursuit of building a mass-marketable electric vehicle that provides the same safety and driving range as current combustion powered vehicles continues.

As a result, a consortium of partners from the German automotive industry led by BMW AG have joined a project initially developed by Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM). Now called Visio.M, the project has received funding from the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) to the tune of 10.8 million euros. Project Visio.M is exploring how to bring an efficient electric vehicle to mass market but at an affordable price and with the same levels of safety as current combustion vehicles.

Developed by the TUM, an electric vehicle prototype called MUTE serves as a test carrier to explore new technologies in crash safety, propulsion, energy storage, and logistical requirements for large-scale production. The mobility concept is targeting a vehicle with a power output of 15kW/20HP and a maximum curb weight of 400kg/882lbs (without battery).

With BMW riding shotgun on the project, future innovations spawned from Visio.M could easily find their way into BMW "i" vehicles as well as a new sub-compact model to rival vehicles such as the Audi Urban Concept, Renault Twizy, Opel RAK-e, and Volkswagen NILS.

BMW has released this initial photo of the MUTE prototype but surely the final design is a long way off.

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