Following on from its Mini E program, BMW is continuing its development program for future electric cars with the 1 Series-based ActiveE.
As with the Mini E, these cars will be distributed to regular drivers in key cities around the world, where their use will be logged in order to compile data on vehicle usage.
The next chapter in BMW’s electromobility strategy began today, Friday, with the delivery of the first all-electric ActiveE in the US.
Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO of BMW of North America presented the keys to Tom and Meredith Moloughney, who will begin their two-year lease. As one of the inaugural Mini E pioneers in 2009, they officially became the first ActiveE electronauts.
The BMW Group’s electromobility development strategy began with the Mini E Field Trial in the summer of 2009. When the Mini E trial began, one of the open questions was whether a private individual could live with an electric vehicle on a daily basis without changing their driving habits.
The Mini E proved that not only could it be done, but doing so required little change in the daily routine, with the exception of plugging-in instead of stopping at the gas station.
Nobody has proved the viability of an EV as daily transportation more conclusively than the Moloughneys, who logged over 72500 miles in Mini E # 250 in just two-and-a-half years. That is as much driving as the typical American driver does in five years, and they did it without burning any gasoline.
The Moloughneys became the first of what will be 700 BMW electronaut households who will lease a BMW ActiveE for a two-year period. Deliveries will continue over the next few weeks.
As the Mini E provided valuable insight into life with an EV, the BMW ActiveE lease period will again be used to gather feedback that will be part of the development of the BMW i3 which will come to market in 2013.
The ActiveE has an output of 170hp and maximum torque of 184 lb-ft. From a standstill, it will accelerate from 0–60mph in under 9sec. Newly developed lithium-ion batteries facilitate a driving range of up to 100 miles on a full charge.
The BMW ActiveE will be available for lease in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, New York, Boston and Hartford for $499 per month for 24 months with a down payment $2250. Anybody in those markets interested in leasing one of the 700 BMW ActiveEs should visit www.bmwusa.com/ActiveE.