• Mar 8th 2010 at 7:02PM
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BMW ActiveE concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

There was news last week that BMW's upcoming lease program for the BMW ActiveE concept, an all-electric 1 Series, would be limited to 200 units in the U.S. BMW would like everyone to know that final distribution numbers for the ActiveE program have not yet been decided, but that there will be at least twice that many here. BMW announced today that the ActiveE fleet "will be at least as large as the MINI E fleet which is currently in operation. There are 450 MINI Es on the road in the US right now."

The point BMW is trying to make is that it is totally committed to electric drive vehicles. For example, drivers of the Mini E who are enjoying their vehicles – something BMW says is common – and want to extend their leases by a year will be able to do so. The Mini E will be "prominently featured" at the upcoming New York Auto Show, and we'll see if we can't track down more details about the upcoming ActiveE program at that time.


  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
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  • BMW Concept ActiveE (12/2009)
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[Source: BMW]

PRESS RELEASE

BMW Group Commitment to Electric Vehicle Development Unwavering


* 08.03.2010

Published reports create inaccurate impression of size of upcoming BMW ActiveE field trial fleet

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – March 8, 2010... Recent published reports have incorrectly stated that the size of the fleet of BMW ActiveEs that will be deployed during the BMW Group's second-phase field trial in the US will be limited to 200 vehicles. While the exact size of the fleet has yet to be confirmed, it will be at least as large as the MINI E fleet which is currently in operation. There are 450 MINI Es on the road in the US right now. They are being driven by a dedicated group of individuals and select fleet users.

"I would hate for anyone to get the impression that we are backing away from our commitment to EV development or the Megacity Vehicle project. Let me reassure you that nothing could be further from the truth," said Rich Steinberg, Manager – Electric Vehicle Operations and Strategy. "With one of the largest fleet of electric vehicles in operation today, we are learning a great deal. Those lessons have already been applied in our development work. One example is the liquid heating and cooling capability for the batteries in the upcoming BMW ActiveE. This will help to optimize operating range in conditions of extreme hot and cold climates. Others include the four-seat capacity of the BMW ActiveE and it seven cubic-feet of trunk space. More than anything we have been impressed with the dedication and enthusiasm that MINI E drivers have brought to this project."

In preparation for the upcoming BMW ActiveE field trial, which will begin in 2011, the BMW Group announced at the North American International Auto Show in January that it will offer one-year lease extensions to current MINI E lessees.

The MINI E will be prominently featured at the New York International Auto Show from April 2 – 11. Information about the BMW Concept ActiveE can be found at www.bmwusanews.com
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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 13 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      A company that actually trusted its engineers to produce EVs wouldn't have them on lease ad infinitum. If BMW were serious they would have the MINI EV for sale, also they would have developed it truly to be EV not just rip out the ICE and put a battery and electric motor in its place.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I doubt they don't trust their engineers, more like they don't trust our (US) legal system. Leasing gives them more control.
      • 5 Years Ago
      in related news, pigs put out a press release stating they are committed to flying.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oh yea, it will be interesting to see how many BMW Minnie E leases do not want to renew there leases for a nother year. I bet 75% extend there leases for a nother year. 800 dollars per month is a good chuck but the insurance is included and home charging stations if they need them.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why is there always the hate on BMW with every one of these articles? At least they're doing something, which is more than most of the other companies. With the exception of Nissan, they seem to be doing more to develop pure EVs than anyone else.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Because this is autoblog green & people hate companies that make ICE cars, even if said ICE cars are most efficient for their class ( still not good enough - look at how many people got rabid about the 31mpg mustang )

        Also people ( including myself ) are tired of this lease-test malarkey that companies have been doing, since historically it's a way to get around CAFE or other various loop-hole ridden legislature that America pumps out.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "At least they're doing something, which is more than most of the other companies."

        You're poorly informed.

        GM, Ford, and Toyota have all produced EVs in this country. GM is soon to release an extended range EV. Ford is soon to release a pure EV. Chrysler owns a NEV company.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's not that we hate BMW, we just don't like the leasing BS a lot of automakers try to pull (and not only on EVs, they do the same for hydrogen). Leasing just signifies they are not ready to release the vehicle on the market and their effort may just be nothing but an experiment that will end eventually (like the hydrogen 7).

        It's the same thing automakers did in the CARB era. The cars end up in a landfill somewhere after the lease period is over. Of course, it's a bit early to know if this will happen (hopefully this time automakers actually want to make EVs), but it still leaves a bad taste.

        The sooner they make the cars for sale, the better.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It is the green washing these companies do, that is what we don't like. With Nissan there is no green washing. Carb needs to change the loop hole that allows these leases to help there ICE fleet average mpg's. Even if they sell a EV it may be a car that goes fifty miles in summer and 25 in winter to show how EV's are not viable, yet they still skirt CAFE standards with a low range low budget EV. Make a nice car like, Nissan, Mitsubishi (if it had twice the size of the 16kwh battery pack it has now) If Mitsubishi sells it for half of the current 40k price, well that might be something also. Think is ok. Aptera? Come on S model Tesla. Coda sounds good, not sure how the China car will be? Ford was doing good on Jay Leno and Ford is suppose to make a EV Transit van, hurry up Ford I want to test drive the EV Focus and compare it with the Nissan EV.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Totally committed by leasing only 400 cars and not selling them, by using heavy existing platforms that are terrible for electric drive. In a nutshell, more conversions with poor efficiency and low range and bloated packs all for a huge monthly payment. Sounds committed alright. What next a 7 series? Build one from the ground up and you will be committed.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The credit is for consumers not BMW and it is for purchased vehicles, it does not apply to a lease as far as I know. This does not benefit BMW other than lowering the sale price to consumers if it is a purchase but it is not.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Mhm. Sounds like a way to skirt CAFE or some other requirement they don't like.

        But it could be just a test. It does cost a lot of money to get a new platform tested for crash standards in the USA. Someone on here quoted it's in the millions.

        BMW, of all companies, has the R&D budget to make EVs or awesome Range extended EVs. I hope they get to it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I am pretty sure that bmw intends to sell these cars because of the government incentives of $7,500 to sell 200k plug in vehicles:

        The credit is equal to $2,500 plus, for a vehicle which draws propulsion energy from a battery with at least 5 kilowatt hours of capacity, $417, plus an additional $417 for each kilowatt hour of battery capacity in excess of 5 kilowatt hours. The total amount of the credit allowed for a vehicle is limited to $7,500.

        The credit begins to phase out for a manufacturer’s vehicles when at least 200,000 qualifying vehicles have been sold for use in the United States
        http://www.irs.gov/businesses/article/0,,id=214841,00.html
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