• Jan 11th 2011 at 12:00PM
  • 5
Since its launch in 2008, participants in the Mini E program, a lease program for the 612 all-electric Mini Es, had no official electronic communication system with BMW regarding their electric vehicles. This is why lessees often resorted to posting their questions and frustrations on MINI E's Facebook page. BMW addressed some of the issues raised through an emailed monthly newsletter called "Plugged In." This wasn't an ideal situation – and BMW has learned from its mistake. Realizing the importance of two-way dialogue, it has launched a forum for all things related to the ActiveE, the new electric vehicle BMW will be leasing later in the year after the MINI E program ends. The forum is open to anyone, and BMW is asking MINI E drivers to help them create the "BMW EV Mobile App" by providing specific information that would help non-EV drivers decide whether or not the ActiveE is right for them.

The MINI E program ends in June, but the Active E, which still has no official release date, is not expected until September at the earliest. To accommodate the driving needs of their MINI E lessees that are continuing on with the Active E, BMW also announced that they are working on a plan to extend the leases for these customers so as not to leave them without a vehicle during the gap between programs. After all, a happy customer is a loyal customer likely to extol the virtues of their bimmers.

[Source: All Cars Electric, Plug In Cars]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      Yeah, that's it BMW. Keep on doing these trial leases while GM, Nissan and Ford are selling actual finished EVs in 2011.

      • 8 Months Ago
      It seems odd that they would need to 'realize' the need for two way dialogue in a program specifically designed to test usage.

      It's not a very good test design if you've thought of no way to collect the outcome data.
      • 8 Months Ago
      How is a heavy conversion "efficient"?
      • 8 Months Ago
      Nick, in regard to your comment, don't forget that BMW put over 500 cars out on the road for folks to drive in real world conditions and is using that information to build a car that will be offered to the masses called the Megacity. That was a risky move as folks who have the cars have started online blogs, posted comments here and other places about the experience with the MINI E both positive and negative. Personally, I'd rather wait and purchase/lease a vehicle that has been tested in real world conditions where folks know what the real world range, charging times, etc are. BMW has been using the information gathered from this trial to create the upcoming Megacity.

      I've been in the test program since the start and will continue to drive the MINI E until the ActiveE is available and then move to that vehicle. Almost 31,000 miles so far. It's driven around 90 miles a day and it lives up to the "Ultimate Driving Machine" mantra. With the MINI E being so much fun, I'm looking forward to the final product.
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