If you’ve got $499 a month, and you live in one of seven US cities, you can get behind the wheel of a BMW ActiveE.
Do you have what it takes to be an Electronaut? If you’ve got $499 a month, and you live in one of seven US cities, you can claim that exalted title and get behind the wheel of a BMW ActiveE. The new EV is based on BMW’s 1 Series sedan, and is now available for lease in the second phase of the company’s Project i field trials (the Mini E was phase one). The first ActiveE was delivered last week to Tom Moloughney, who has written several stories on his two-year trial of the Mini E.
The ActiveE has a 32-kWh battery pack located in the transmission tunnel and gas tank area, and a 125-kW (168-hp) electric motor that powers the rear wheels. BMW estimates the range at 100 miles. Responding to some cold-weather performance issues with the Mini E, BMW has given the ActiveE a liquid-based thermal management system to keep the batteries at an optimal temperature. Other high-tech features include BMW’s ConnectedDrive telematics system, and a smart phone app that shows the nearest charging stations and allows remote pre-heating/cooling.
The third phase of Project i will introduce the BMW i3, an urban minicar that will incorporate many of the features of the ActiveE, and is expected to go into production in 2013.