BMW has delivered its ActiveE electric vehicle to its first U.S. customers, as the German automaker enters the next phase of its domestic EV testing after the Mini E.

Tom and Meredith Moloughney, who were one of the original testers of the Mini E in 2009, represent the first of about 700 households that will take two-year leases on the ActiveE vehicles as part of BMW's testing efforts. The car will be available in Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, New York, Boston and Hartford, CT at a rate of $499 a month with a $2,250 downpayment.

The ActiveE is the successor to the Mini E and a precursor to the i3 that will be launched for the 2014 model year. BMW says the ActiveE has a single-charge range of as many as 100 miles and can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than nine seconds. We took the ActiveE for a test drive in October, and you can see the review here.
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BMW Delivers First All-Electric ActiveE in the US
13.01.2012
The next chapter in BMW's EV development takes to the road

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – January 13, 2012... BMW today delivered the first all-electric ActiveE in the US and began the next chapter in its electromobility strategy. Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO of BMW of North America presented the keys to a BMW ActiveE to Tom and Meredith Moloughney who will begin their two-year lease today. As one of the inaugural MINI E pioneers in 2009, today they officially became the first ActiveE Electronauts.

"Calling the Moloughneys Pioneers is very appropriate because they have shown the world that an electric vehicle can absolutely serve one's daily driving needs without compromise," said Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO of BMW of North America. "We learned a lot from all of our experience with the MINI E and we are looking forward to learning more in these next two years with the BMW ActiveE as we prepare for the launch of the first BMW i models in 2013. We are pleased that Tom and Meredith have agreed to stay with us on this journey."

The BMW Group's electromobility development strategy began with the MINI E Field Trial in the summer of 2009. When the MINI E trial program began, one of the main open questions was, could a private individual live with an electric vehicle on a daily basis without changing their driving habits? The MINI E pioneers proved without a doubt that not only could it be done, but that doing so required no change in their daily routine, with the exception of plugging-in instead of stopping at the gas station. No one has proven the viability of an EV as daily transportation more conclusively than the Moloughneys, who logged over 72,500 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 so much as an ounce of gasoline.

The Moloughneys today 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 several 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 is the only car that is 100% Electric and 100% BMW, providing the performance and efficiency everyone has come to expect from The Ultimate Driving Machine®. With output of 170 hp and maximum torque of 184 lb-ft from a standstill, The BMW ActiveE accelerates from 0–60 mph in under nine seconds. 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 the metropolitan markets of Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, New York, Boston and Hartford for $499 per month for 24 months with a down payment $2,250. Anyone in those markets interested in leasing one of the 700 BMW ActiveEs coming to the US should visit www.bmwusa.com/ActiveE.

project i - research and development of tomorrow's mobility.

The BMW ActiveE is the BMW Group's next step towards an emission-free, mass-produced electric vehicle. Within the framework of project i, the BMW Group is carrying out research and development work on the development of electrically powered vehicles. The next step will be the BMW i3 due to launch in 2013. It will be designed to meet the demands of a sustainable mobility solution for congested urban areas. For this reason, the drive components and battery technology that will be used in the BMW i3 are being tested in the BMW ActiveE.

Ongoing field tests involving more than 600 MINI E cars, including 450 in the US, have already provided vital knowledge about the demands on future electrically powered production vehicles. Beginning with year in the US, Europe and China, a test fleet of over 1100 BMW ActiveE vehicles, produced at BMW's Leipzig plant, will provide further valuable insights into the everyday use of the vehicle. The findings will serve to deepen the knowledge already gained on the everyday use of electric vehicles and to learn more about customer requirements. The feedback from customers testing the MINI E and the BMW ActiveE will be fed directly into series production of the BMW i3, which will be launched in 2013.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 27 Comments
      Ford Future
      • 3 Years Ago
      The BMW performance pedigree in an electric car. Very Tempting. Makes you almost want to rob a bank. Is said ALMOST Homeland Security.
        Marco Polo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        @fordinsight. 'almost' is good enough for us fella, well all know you gunna use the process to fund a terrorist cell! Be seein' y' soon, The 'Boys' down at U.S. Department of Homeland Security 245 Murray Drive SW, Building 410 STOP-0655 Washington, D.C. 20528-0655
          Ford Future
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Haha, good joke. Uh, wait I hear a knock on the door...
      skierpage
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yet another worldwide field trial of 700 cars, meanwhile Nissan will make 40,000 Leafs in 2012 and the Model S destroys the ActiveE in looks, capability, and engineering. At least is BMW is claiming the i3 will "launch" and "come to market" in 2013, though those weasel words aren't the same as delivering cars to customers.
        DRstrangelove
        • 3 Years Ago
        @skierpage
        LOL get your eyes checked. The only thing the Leaf destroys with its looks is mirrors.
          Joeviocoe
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DRstrangelove
          And millions of Japanese think American cars are ugly.. and the happy catfish look is super fun. Instead of complaining about subjective opinions.... realize that your culture is not the only one that exists in this world.
          EJ
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DRstrangelove
          My Leaf resembles that remark...
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DRstrangelove
          Meh. Looks are subjective so I rarely bother to comment on them.
          throwback
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DRstrangelove
          joeviocoe, he commented on the styling of the Leaf, not on japanese culture. Just because you like the styling of car does not mean everyone has to. Get a grip
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @skierpage
        Seriously. BMW is throwing FUD out into the EV market to stall things while they play catch up. By the time they deliver something, Nissan will have a more advanced EV that uses everything they learned from developing, selling, and servicing the current Nissan Leaf.
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @skierpage
        That is way too harsh on BMW. Sure, they aren't up with Nissan or Mitsubishi, and arguably GM, but then no-one else is. If you think that BMW aren't serious about electric and hybrid vehicles, you have not been paying attention. They have invested hundreds of millions in carbon fibre production in North America and in Europe, aside from their other engineering efforts in engines and so on. Some one has to lead, and Nissan has a head start on batteries, whilst Mitsubishi have bet the farm on electric and deserve praise. as does GM's Volt efforts. After these though BMW has the next largest commitment, and is well on its way to a build, which will be substantial, or at least they are putting in the capacity for it to be so.
      Tom Moloughney
      • 3 Years Ago
      I've had the car for about a week now and it's been a blast to drive. Like Peder said, It's going to be really interesting to have this exact same power train in a car that's 1,250lbs lighter. For anyone interested, I did blog post about my initial thoughts on the car: http://activeemobility.blogspot.com/2012/01/bmw-activee-dosent-disappoint.html
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Tom Moloughney
        Thanks for the low-down. This is the most critical thing for many, perhaps: 'The EPA rates the ActiveE's range at 94 miles (against the 74-mile rating for a Nissan Leaf), which reflects its relatively large 32-kWh battery pack. The Leaf has just 24 kWh.' http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1071880_bmw-activee-electric-car-first-drive-whats-it-really-like The lighter body in the i3 should improve that quite a lot, although the brisker acceleration is likely to increase the temptation to put your foot down and go for it! ;-)
          Tom Moloughney
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Yes Dave, BMW people were quick to say to me "While your driving the ActiveE, imagine the same power train in a car that weighs 1,300lbs less" I'm expecting it will be both more efficient and more fun to drive.
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      I bet a lot of EV haters will change their tune (or at least give a second look) now that there is an EV with the BMW nameplate on it.
      Peder Norby
      • 3 Years Ago
      The ActiveE is a great car. Transitioning from the Mini-E after 36,500 miles to the ActiveE was difficult because I had really grown to love the Mini-E. A few points on the ActiveE. It’s a way more refined car than the Mini-E. It’s just as fast to 40mph as the Mini-E but not quite as fast to 60mph as the Mini-E as there is a slight drop off. It’s cheaper at $499 for us than the Mini-E which was $600. (Remember I’m saving $200+ a month gas cost driving on solar so it’s a net of $250-$300 a month for me) You can precondition the car to be warm and ready for you to enter. The car automatically detects the best charging amperage so no need to manually set like the Mini-E. The car is programmable on start charging time, so no need for an appliance timer like the Mini-E to charge beginning at midnight. It handles like all one series cars which is rock solid amazing and with rear wheel drive produces better driving dynamics in my opinion than the somewhat loose front of the Mini-E. It’s fully loaded with nav leather heated seats, Bluetooth, great sound system and about every option there is. A similarly equipped gas BMW One series would be higher in lease price for two years than the electric ActiveE and would have a cap of 10,000 miles per year, the Active E is unlimited mileage ( I checked.) And the best part, this is a pilot series for the BMW i3. The i3 will be 1250lbs lighter due to the carbon fiber and aluminum construction, have more interior room, more cargo room, and contain the same 170 hp motor – controller - battery (with less batteries) combo as the ActiveE. What that will mean is 0-60 times that will be amazing and an efficiency approaching 5 miles per KWH. The ActiveE achieved an EPA rated combined 102MPGe which is higher than any other car except the Mitsubishi IMIEV with its small 66HP motor. That’s an amazing engineering feat in itself for a 4000 lbs car. Cheers Peder
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Peder Norby
        Thanks for sharing your direct experience with the car, it is greatly appreciated!
        PR
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Peder Norby
        Super awesome post, Peder! A couple of questions. 1) Since you were willing to put out that extra money for the Mini-E, and were willing to be BMW's guinea pig, are they going to put you towards the front of the line for getting the i3? It would be a real bummer if your ActiveE lease ran out and there wasn't an i3 waiting to replace it. 2) Can you burn rubber? Like from a dead stop at a stop light? *grin*
          Peder Norby
          • 3 Years Ago
          @PR
          On the money side, believe it or not the whole experience is cheaper for me than the Volvo S60 R that I used to drive. Volvo S60 R 36 month lease inception fee = $ 69 a month Lease payments with tax $479 Insurance $ 89 Maintenance and repair $120 (tires and brakes were very expensive) Gas $220 End of lease cost $30 (extra mileage) Total $1007 per month BMW ActiveE Lease inception fee spread over 24 months $83 24month lease at $535 tax included Insurance $89 (both liability and collision) Maintenance and repair $0 Solar Electricity $25 ($7500 divided by 25 years divided by 12months) End of Lease cost $0 Total cost $732 per month To be clear the Mini-E - ActiveE are not inexpensive cars, but it is less expensive than my Volvo S60 was. cheers
          Peder Norby
          • 3 Years Ago
          @PR
          Hi PR, As a Mini-E driver they put us first in line for the ActiveE and extended our lease so that we could transition seamlessly into the ActiveE. They also gave us a free charger. I would have every expectation that they would do the same with the ActiveE drivers when they transition to the BMW i3. There is traction control. In the Mini-E the car was always at the edge of control as the front drive wheels struggled to grip the road and it had massive amount of front wheel touque steer.. In the ActiveE the car is rear wheel drive so when you accelerate the weight shifts to the rear wheels with no torque steer and it is harder to break it loose. The car corners on rails and coming out of the corners is where I have the most fun with a little chirp chirp action.
        Todd
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Peder Norby
        Peder did a great job summing up the ActiveE. I too picked up the ActiveE this past Monday in Long Beach, CA after 50,000 miles in the MINI E and love, love, love the car. The technology is fantastic and so far it's living up to the "Ultimate Driving Machine" heritage. Looking forward to putting it through the paces as we all race towards the BMW i3.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      if they forced me I think I could live with driving that. for now.
        noevfud
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Heavy conversion, CARB stop gap. Dan is softening.
        Ford Future
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Big of you, Dan. :^)
        PR
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        What? You wouldn't wait for the lighter i3? Dan, is EZEE making a softie out of you?
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 3 Years Ago
          @PR
          hehe it should in no way be construed as endorsement of the design. just that given the exceedingly pathetic selection available I would drive it for now. if it was free. purely because there are no better alternatives.
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