Mini-E test program, the ActiveE all-electric 1-series coupe, is a natural evolution in the company's slow and steady progression towards the launch of the carbon-fiber-framed i3 (formerly known as the MegaCity EV) in 2013. Today BMW revealed that the ActiveE will be available in seven U.S. markets starting in Fall of this year. The price of entry: $2,250 down and $499 per month for 24 months. " />

BMW Unveils Pricing for ActiveE—on Sale in 7 U.S. Markets Fall 2011

By · April 18, 2011

BMW ActiveE

BMW's much anticipated follow-up to their successful Mini-E test program, the ActiveE all-electric 1-series coupe, is a natural evolution in the company's slow and steady progression towards the launch of the carbon-fiber-framed i3 (formerly known as the MegaCity EV) in 2013.

Today BMW revealed that the ActiveE will be available in the markets of Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, New York and Boston as well as the state of Connecticut starting in Fall of 2011.

Noticeably absent are the Pacific Northwestern states of Oregon and Washington, where electric cars have gathered massive amounts of support. Stranger still is that BMW has even chosen the state of Washington for the site of a factory that will supply all the carbon fiber BMW needs for every i3 built. I wonder when BMW will see to correcting this oversight?

As part of BMW's ongoing electric car test projects—now known collectively as Project i—the ActiveE will only be available as a lease and BMW only plans on producing 1,000 them for worldwide distribution. So don't expect them to be easy to come by.

If you were one of the lucky few to be a part of the Mini-E program, you'll be given first dibs at leasing an ActiveE, but expect to cough up a relatively large amount of money for the privilege: $2,250 down and $499 per month for 24 months. Then again, if you were part of the Mini-E program, you were already coughing up $600 a month so it's actually a bit of a price break.

As our resident expert on the Mini-E and ActiveE, Tom Moloughney said in a post of his on the subject, "If BMW uses the same rules as they did for the MINI-E program, then this is a very good deal."

"The MINI-E program included comprehensive and collision insurance, all maintenance (even tires, wiper blades, etc..)," said Tom. "Even if you damaged something through your negligence, it was replaced without question. BMW also installed the [charging stations] for free and the participants get to keep them, that's worth $2,000 to $3,000 right there. Plus there was unlimited mileage." Sounds like the pot is pretty sweet indeed—especially if you are a high mileage driver.

Tom will be holding a live stream Facebook webcast with Richard Steinberg, manager of electric vehicles for BMW North America, this Wednesday from the New York Auto Show. Stay tuned to PluginCars.com for a link to that.

If BMW's downward pricing trend continues, can we expect the i3 to come in at about $350-400 per month plus $2,000 down? That would place it squarely in the realm of affordable for many car buyers—and around the same price point Nissan and GM targeted for their initial launches of the LEAF and Volt. Really just a bit of prognostication there, but it seems reasonable.

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