UK: BMW bangs the green drum with bicycles for the Olympics
The BMW Group has handed over the first vehicle to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) to support the 2012 Games - and it's a bicycle.
Global Sales and Marketing Director for BMW Group, Ian Robertson, handed the bike to David Stubbs, Head of Sustainability for LOCOG in central London, as the one-year-to-go point approaches on 27 July.
BMW is the official automotive sponsor of the 2012 Games and has announced the composition of the transportation fleet that it will be making available to the organisers.
A total of 400 BMW bicycles will be used by LOCOG in the run-up to and during the Games and will be part of a wide range of vehicles supplied by BMW Group, as a vital element of the company's Tier One sponsorship of London 2012. These different models have been chosen by LOCOG to meet the diverse operational needs of the Games.
"Everybody will be travelling to the Games by foot, bicycle or public transport where ever possible," said Stubbs, "and the LOCOG team will be no exception to this. It is rather fitting therefore that the first vehicle we accept for the 2012 fleet is a bike. However, cars and motorcycles remain a vital part of the transport arrangements to ensure the smooth-running and full operational support of the Games."
The majority of the fleet being made available by BMW will be made up of efficient diesel-powered cars, featuring the company's 'Efficient Dynamics' technologies. This, BMW maintains, has allowed it to meet LOCOG's 'extremely challenging' target of 120g/km of CO2, as an average across the fleet.
The BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Saloon will make up at least a third of the fleet, with its exceptional fuel efficiency (68.9mpg combined cycle) and low CO2 figure of just 109g/km. A new model, the BMW 520d EfficientDynamics Saloon will also feature significantly in the 2012 fleet. The mid-size car returns fuel consumption of 62.8mpg on the combined cycle and a CO2 figure of just 119g/km.
Electric vehicles will also play an important role and the fleet will include 200 MINI Es and BMW 1 Series Active Es. In addition, BMW Hybrid cars will make their first appearance on British roads and an innovative electrically-assisted bicycle, the Pedelec, will debut on the Olympic and Paralympic fleet.
Motorcycles will feature significantly on the fleet too and their uses will include operational support of road and mountain biking events. BMW will supply a number of different models- R1200RT, R1200GS and F650GS.
"It is a tremendous honour to extend BMW Group's long term commitment to the UK to this support for London 2012," said Robertson. "The variety of different BMW Group vehicles in the London 2012 fleet, shows the depth of our dedication to provide sustainable individual transport to meet a broad swathe of different needs. We will supply almost 4,000 vehicles, in addition to the 400 bicycles, from diesels to electric cars, hybrids to motorcycles, as well as innovative new products like the Pedelec. I am also personally delighted that we are able to adapt a number of our vehicles for disabled drivers so that volunteers of different physical abilities can drive our cars."
BMW's Robertson emphasised the company's commitment to multi-modal solutions for the world's growing cities. "Just like safety was part of premium in the 1970s, sustainability is part of premium today," Robertson said.
BMW has also shown a prototype electric-assisted bicycle that will form part of the fleet for next year's Games. The electric pedal bike, dubbed 'pedelec' has a top speed of 18mph and is also planned for the wider market in the future.
"Mobility solutions of the future have become an integral part of the car industry, so either you get onboard or you're in real trouble," Robertson told journalists.