A Small German Electric CarBMW, Daimler, the German Federal Ministry for Education, the Technische Universitaet Muenchen and others are joining force and cooperating on a research project called Visio.M. Their goal is to "explore how the price and safety of small, efficient electric vehicles can be brought to a level enabling them to achieve a significant share of the mass market."
The starting point will be the MUTE concept, shown in the photos above and below, which was developed by the T.U. Muenchen. One of the goals is to keep the weight down to 400 kg (without battery), but without compromising safety. Power will also be kept down to about 15-kilowatt, so the resulting EV would be more urban commuter than autobahn burner.
Obviously, the weight and power targets will help keeping the battery small and range high, making the Visio.M more affordable than heavier EVs that have bigger battery pack. But we're far from commercialization at this point. Chances are that what the research partners will learn on this project will be integrated into other models down the line. Still, it's an interesting R&D effort.
Via BMW Blog