BMW Announces ActiveE Test Cities

· · 3 years ago

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.

Comments

· · 3 years ago

I have already confirmed that I'll be getting one. I'll certainly report regularly here on how it performs.
It should be noted that the second year MINI-E leases cost $600 per month, down from the first years $850. I also believe the ActiveE lease will cost less than the MINI-E did the first year. This is not official, but I have good reason to believe that will be the case. Also, I'm hearing that there will be at least 700 cars made.

· · 3 years ago

I wish BMW would get past the field trials and start actually fielding something. I really think they are stalling, hoping the whole EV thing goes away. If Nissan has already gotten 20,000 deposit secured orders in less than 1 month (and I was too late by the time they contacted me yesterday), the deployment of EVs has started and BMW, et al need to quit feeling the water and jump into the pool.

· · 3 years ago

Ex, I do understand your thoughts, enough with the beta testing! However having been in the program and met and communicated with many of the top BMW officials, engineers and even members of the Board of directors in Munich I can guarantee you they aren't stalling.
BMW is taking a methodical approach to building these cars, their approach has been to sell their first EV in 2013. It will be introduced at the 2012 Olympics in London (BMW is one of the main sponsors)
As you know, the MINI-E was put together quickly using 3rd party suppliers (albeit very good ones) but BMW wants their car to be all BMW engineered. The ActiveE will be comprised of all the components that will be in the Megacity vehicle, the new motor and PEU, The new batteries they jointly developed with SB LiMotive, and all the electronics. This will be the real-world test of all these newly designed components. Then, after about 1 1/2 years of this testing, they will sell the Megacity car. They have plans for at least two other EVs and possibly one that is an EREV. I have heard a lot about the Megacity car and it is really interesting, I'm sure we will talk about it at the Green Drive Expo, I'm looking forward to meeting up with you guys out there.
Check out this article in Newsweek that came out today, I am even quoted in it near the end:
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_40/b4197080555679.htm

· chris reynell (not verified) · 3 years ago

Hey Tom, How could I get on the list to get one?

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