At the Opportunity Green conference in Los Angeles today, BMW announced the locations for the ActiveE field trial, which is scheduled to begin next summer. New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento and Boston will be the first cities where you'll have a chance at catching the ActiveE out and about, before BMW officially launches its Megacity EV in 2013.
While the few other details have been released about the program so far, AutoBlog Green interviewed Rich Steinberg, BMW's manager of electric vehicle operations and strategy for North America, and got some hints about what we can expect. For one, Steinberg says that the test will include more vehicles than the Mini E program, which deployed 450 cars in the United States.
Mini E drivers who chose to extend their lease this year will get preference in the application process to join the ActiveE test fleet, but drivers who chose to end their leases after a year aren't likely to receive any priority. No details are available on the lease price yet, but the Mini E cost $850 per month, so you can probably expect driving the ActiveE to be relatively expensive privilege as well. Steinberg noted that the company is "discussing" the idea of offering longer leases this time around.
The ActiveE will be the first consumer field test for BMW's new lithium ion battery technology. The Mini E trials were conducted mostly to gauge electric vehicle driving habits, and satisfied with the data it collected, BMW is ready to move into Phase 2 of its Project i electric mobility program: testing the performance of the system that will soon be the basis for several mass-market vehicles.