Peugeot’s surprise at the Frankfurt Motor Show was the BB1 ZEV with electric hub motors. Although designed to seat four people, it is only 2.5 m (8.2 ft) long.
The design brief for the BB1 was to meet the mobility needs of users on a daily basis and provide maximum versatility, a compact size, maneuverability, and good performance. To achieve these criteria, Peugeot looked to motorcycles for inspiration for its ergonomics and controls. The driver sits in a more vertical position than in a regular car. This is made possible because there are no pedals; the car has motorcycle type handlebars on which controls are mounted.
Access to the vehicle is through trailing-edge-hinged doors. The load area access is through an innovative tailboard/tailgate design. The BB1’s interior can be reconfigured to provide a load volume of up to 160 L (5.7 ft³) with four occupants or 855 L (30.2 ft³) with one person on board.
Styling includes a frontal treatment with a windshield that extends back into the roof, a low waistline, and extended wheel arches.
LED headlights are used and rearview cameras replace exterior mirrors. A double-bubble roof, similar to the Peugeot RCZ coupe (unveiled at Frankfurt in near-production form), accentuates the feeling of cabin space.
The BB1 includes an extensive range of interactive technologies. Its color multifunction display and the vehicle’s audio system provide links for a “smart phone” giving telephone, navigation, Internet access, radio, and MP3 player. The phone is linked to a USB connector and the 12-V power socket if necessary. The system provides essential services without the need for multiple components, saving weight and simplifying ergonomics.
The concept’s electric drive system includes two electric motors—designed in association with Michelin—mounted in the rear wheels. The configuration, which maximizes interior space, takes its inspiration from quad-bike technology, according to Peugeot.
The motors produce a maximum combined power output of 15 kW. Acceleration figures include 0-30 km/h (0-19 mph) in 2.8 s and 30-60 km/h (19-37 mph) in 4 s.
The BB1 uses two lithium-ion battery packs located under the right- and left-hand rear seats, with a “comfortable” range of 120 km (75 mi). The layout is said to avoid any reduction in interior or available storage space. Furthermore, this location between the front and rear wheels helps with the weight distribution of the vehicle and benefits vehicle stability, especially during braking.
The BB1 has a tubular chassis designed by Peugeot Motorcycles but incorporates all “normal car dynamic systems” including electric power steering, double-wishbone front and rear suspension, and friction damper spring assemblies.
The body is of carbon fiber, with vehicle mass that is less than 600 kg (1320 lb).
When stationary, the passenger compartment ventilation continues to operate in daylight via solar panels placed on the roof. This enables pre-ventilation of the interior and the trapping of pollutants and ultrafine dust particles by the application of high-performance filters and activated carbon. The panels have been designed in partnership with the Ocean Vital Foundation. Because they are flexible (enabling their positioning on the concept’s double-bubble roof), they provide a yield of some 16% of energy captured.