Most anyone who follows the plug-in vehicle scene is familiar with at least one electric-vehicle driver whose car is "powered by sunlight" because of a solar-panel power-supply system at home. If you don't know such a person, you can meet one. Or, with BMW and Green Mountain Energy, you can easily become one.

The German automaker and the utility company have reached an agreement for drivers of the all-electric ActiveE to be able to buy so-called renewable energy certificates (RECs) from Green Mountain. The RECs, which drivers can get for a one-time payment of $48, ensures that all of the electricity to be used up to power the ActiveE during the drivers' lease period will come from renewable sources.

BMW's continuing to boost its green credibility by reaching "green" agreements around the U.S. In May, the company launched a partnership with solar-panel system installer Real Goods Solar in which ActiveE drivers get discounts worth as much as 35 percent off of their systems. ActiveE drivers from California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York are eligible.

BMW started leasing out ActiveE vehicles to customers in January for $499 a month with a $2,250 downpayment. BMW's i3, the ActiveE's successor, will launch in 2014.
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BMW Partners with Green Mountain Energy Company to Offer Renewable Energy Certificates to BMW ActiveE Drivers

31.07.2012
BMW ActiveE drivers can reduce their dependence on fossil fuels even further

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – July 31, 2012... BMW of North America today announced that it will partner with Green Mountain Energy Company to offer drivers of the BMW ActiveE the choice to support renewable energy for their cars. The ActiveE drivers, known as "Electronauts," now have the opportunity to purchase renewable energy certificates (RECs) from Green Mountain to cover the estimated electricity that will be used to charge their electric vehicles (EVs).
"The partnership with Green Mountain is BMW's next step to procure a sustainable mobility future for our ActiveE Electronauts," said Rob Healey, EV Infrastructure Manager at BMW of North America. "We want to ensure all ActiveE drivers have the opportunity to source their energy needs from renewable generation and this program is the perfect complement to BMW's ActiveE solar offer. Based on their experience in renewable energy, Green Mountain is an ideal partner to support our mission."

As the world's most sustainable automotive company, BMW offers more than just an emissions-free electric vehicle. BMW is now expanding the horizon of what electric mobility means by providing ActiveE drivers with the resources to support clean energy with their cars.
"The majority of electricity in the U.S. is generated from non-renewable, fossil fuel sources, so EVs need to be powered with clean, renewable energy to be truly emissions-free," said Scott Hart, president of Commercial Services for Green Mountain. "BMW is a thought leader in electric vehicle innovation and their desire to ensure ActiveE drivers have the option to support renewable energy further demonstrates the company's commitment to sustainability."

The generation of electricity from non-renewable, fossil fuel sources, such as coal, is one of the largest sources of carbon dioxide (CO2), a primary greenhouse gas. For a one-time payment of $48.00, ActiveE drivers can purchase renewable energy certificates (RECs) to ensure the estimated amount of electricity that will be used to charge their vehicle during the lease period is replaced with renewable energy. ActiveE drivers who power their vehicles with renewable energy for the estimated mileage usage will offset 9,900 lbs of CO2 during the course of their two year lease, the equivalent of not driving 11,000 miles in a conventional gas-powered car.
The BMW Group's commitment to sustainability goes far beyond the automobile. In addition to this opportunity to purchase RECs from Green Mountain, ActiveE drivers can take advantage of a separate BMW offer to further commit to a clean energy lifestyle. As of May 2012, ActiveE drivers can install solar panels on their homes for a discount of approximately 35 percent. With this program, not only are customers receiving lower installation costs, but they are also capitalizing on the opportunity to power their homes – and their zero-emissions BMW ActiveEs – using clean, renewable solar energy. This solar program, along with the new partnership with Green Mountain, demonstrates BMW's truly holistic approach to sustainable mobility.
BMW ActiveE Electronauts ready to drive into an even cleaner future can visit www.greenmountain.com/ActiveE to sign up.

BMW ActiveE and 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 now in the BMW ActiveE.
The recent field test involving more than 600 MINI E cars, including 450 in the US, have provided vital knowledge about the demands on future electrically powered production vehicles. Beginning this year a test fleet of over 1100 BMW ActiveE vehicles on the road in the US, Europe and China will provide further valuable insights into the everyday use of the vehicle. 700 BMW ActiveEs are on the road in the US, mostly in private hands. The findings from this trial 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.

Green Mountain Energy Company
Green Mountain, the nation's leading competitive retail provider of cleaner energy and carbon offset solutions, was founded in 1997 with the mission to "change the way power is made." The company is the longest serving green power marketer in the U.S. and believes in using wind, sun and water for good. Green Mountain offers consumers and businesses the choice of cleaner electricity products from renewable sources, as well as a variety of carbon offset products and sustainable solutions for businesses. One of Green Mountain's largest customers is the "world's most famous office building," the Empire State Building in New York City. Green Mountain customers have collectively helped avoid over 19.4 billion pounds of CO2 emissions. As a wholly owned subsidiary of NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG), Green Mountain is backed by one of the nation's largest renewable power producers. Visit us online at www.GreenMountain.com and learn more about our campaign for good at www.greenmountain.com/forgood.

BMW Group in America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group's global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 114 MINI passenger car dealers, and 32 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group's sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at: www.bmwgroupna.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      Spec
      • 5 Months Ago
      Solar power and EVs are a great natural combo. Generate power during the day when there is high demand and use that to pay for charging at night when there is excess capacity. Anyone that gets an EV should strongly consider getting solar too. Especially in California where the tiered rates can can get you if you charge a lot.
      Peder Norby
      • 5 Months Ago
      Solar works great both as a small scale distributed form on energy on existing roof tops (no land cost but more expensive per kw system size) and as a large utility scale form in our undeveloped areas (low land cost and lower per kw system size installation cost) ) Many apartment and condo owners and renters who do not have the ability to put solar on a rooftop would love to go solar by buying into a fractional ownership with virtual net metering of a larger and cheaper solar PV farm. The legislation to allow them to do that is processing now through the state of California and should be approved soon. Think of it as analogous to cloud computing with off site data storage. Renewable energy and electric cars are not left or right of the political spectrum, they are advances in technology and science that allow mankind to progress. We are at an amazing point of time in our history. Cheers
        SVX pearlie
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Peder Norby
        Solar really ought to be used for parking lot covers, in conjunction with greenroof buildings. That'd make one dynamite combination.
          Vlad
          • 5 Months Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Yep. I wonder how much gas we collectively burn to cool down cars that sat on an open parking lot all day.
      EZEE
      • 5 Months Ago
      I have always been suspicious of large scale, power plant size applications of solar, and even wind, for that matter. On a personal level though, the potential seems great. My parents installed solar at their retirement house in the mid 1980's and it worked great. Being able to 'gas up' your car with Solar, but having regular grid backup seems to be a no brainer. Throw in a solar hot water heater, and why not? My parents were both mean spirited radical right wing extremists, and did it largely for economic reasons, so there was never a 'yes but, it helps the environment' qualifier on anything they said. Now - to throw a bone out for the 'left of center' types in the room - the thing that pushed it over the top for them was a subsidy or rebate of some such that was probably a carryover from the Carter Administration (and you people never think I give you credit for anything).
        Ford Future
        • 5 Months Ago
        @EZEE
        To be fair to your parents EZEE, if they are not strictly 100% republa-Bots, then they aren't really Republican. Your parents thought out-side the box, on their own. That makes them, like it or not, Democrats.
          EZEE
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Ford Future
          @spec We could raise takes so people making over $100k are paying a 100% tax rate and still have a deficit. Baseline budgeting means the stimulus was added to the budget every single year, and removing any of the extra spending would be considered a 'cut.' Taxes could have easily been raised when the democrats had a filibuster proof senate....but....no. And somehow I do not think at 100% tax rates, the rich would have stayed in the country very long, not any business. Republicans are certainly at fault, but to ignore democras? Dear lord. We can't simply tax our way out of this mess. Learn what baseline budgeting means.... Learn why a 4% increase in spending is called a 'massive cut.' Did all of those European countries not tax high enough?
          Spec
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Ford Future
          Actually . . . yeah, Democrats believe in all those things. But with limits. They want taxes to be high enough to pay our bills whereas the GOP has run on a 'borrow & spend' policy.
          EZEE
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Ford Future
          Democrats that believe in low taxes, limited government, gun ownership rights, hunting animals on the weekend, football, individualism, and self sufficiency? Introduce me to a few of them, or point out any in congress.
          EZEE
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Ford Future
          @spec Nearly 50% of the US populations pays no income taxes.... Seeing as nearly the same number receive some sort of government assistance, should we still say that the rich do not pay their fair share? The 50% that do pay, pay 97% of the income taxes.
        Spec
        • 5 Months Ago
        @EZEE
        Large scale wind is a no-brainer. The turbines are more efficient the bigger they get. It is the really small scale wind turbines that are questionable. And big wind is probably the most cost-effective renewable after big hydro. With solar, I can see being a bit more suspicious. The big plants require transmission lines that small residential PV don't. But concentrating solar adds the ability to still provide power after the sun has gone down which is important since there is a peak at that time.
          PR
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Spec
          Yes, large scale wind is definitely much better than residential wind. Right off the bat there is the problem of wind speeds. 1) The wind is more constant and stronger the higher you get your blades above the ground. Residential wind just can't build that high. 2) Wind is much more site-dependent than sun. The contours of the earth make some places much better than others for wind production. Solar has site-dependent issues as well, which can make large scale solar a good idea in some areas. It also allows for electricity from solar that involves other technology besides PV solar. What really makes sense is Large Scale In-City solar, because the cost of installation is much lower for large scale installs compared to multiple small installs. A good example of this is our local IKEA practically covering their entire roof in solar panels. This is the best of both worlds. It is Large Scale, AND it actually cuts down on transmission lines. F-ing brilliant if you ask me.
          Ford Future
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Spec
          Exactly. Much more bang for the buck the bigger the project. That's practically all First Solar does, for example. And again, to state the obvious, this is the business EXXON should have started, and Owned by now. With Exxon investing to make First Solar 10 Times bigger then it is.
          Spec
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Spec
          Well, the reason why First Solar does big projects is because it is much easier to turn a profit doing solar installations than to just sell panels that need to compete with the cheap Chinese panels. It is a smart strategy of them but it doesn't justify large PV over small PV. Large PV does have the advantage in that you only have to pull 1 permit instead of many small permits. But unless there is a nearby large transmission line, you may have to upgrade the grid to handle a large PV project. Small residential systems generally require no upgrade to the grid and no new transmission lines. But it is a hassle to get permits & install each individual system.
      Refz
      • 5 Months Ago
      Spotted two Chevy Volts today, 8/6/12. @ 10:37 AM PST Volt whizzed past at 75 clicks on East bound U.S.10 Freeway in Corona. 10m later I passed a metallic light blue Volt on U.S.10 Eastbound in Riverside. A minute later, a Civic GX NG passed by me using the carpool lane. Most of these are ex-fleet. This one probably wasn't (it wasn't white). Signs of the times. Last year I saw a Honda HFCV (Burgundy) in Irvine tooling around. They have a fueling station near there at UCI.
        SVX pearlie
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Refz
        Oh yeah, on topic, I spotted an ActiveE over the weekend, standard white with the "look at me, I'm saving the planet" graphics.
        SVX pearlie
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Refz
        I wonder if that's my friends Honda you saw. She bought the FC to solo-commute to UCI using the HOV lane.
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