BMW has begun the delivery of its first all-electric ActiveE in the U.S. as it begins the next chapter in its electromobility strategy. Tom and Meredith Moloughney, who are included in the inaugural MINI E pioneers in 2009, were recently given the keys to a BMW ActiveE by Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO of BMW of North America. They could officially be named the first ActiveE Electronauts as they started their two-year lease.
Moloughneys are the first of the 700 BMW Electronaut households, which will get a BMW ActiveE for a two-year lease period. The deliveries will be accomplished within the next several weeks. Through the BMW ActiveE lease period, feedback will be gathered as part of the development of the BMW i3 that will arrive to the market in 2013.
This was the same approach used with the MINI E, which offered precious insight into how life is with an EV. BMW describes the ActiveE as the only car that is “100% Electric and 100% BMW.” It boasts of a performance and efficiency that’s to be expected from The Ultimate Driving Machine. Powered by an engine that could deliver 170 hp and has a maximum torque of 184 lb-ft, the BMW ActiveE could sprint from a standstill to 60 mph in less than nine seconds.
When fully charged, its recently developed lithium-ion batteries offer a driving range of up to 100 miles. For just $499 per month for 24 months and a down payment $2,250, the BMW ActiveE is for lease in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, New York, Boston and Hartford. Those who want to lease one of the 700 BMW ActiveEs arriving in the U.S. may go to bmwusa.com/ActiveE for further details.
BMW ActiveE is designed for efficiency. When the driver’s foot comes off the accelerator, the motor instantly adapts to generate electricity from kinetic energy. This electricity is supplied back to the vehicle battery, while the vehicle is simultaneously slowed down by creating braking torque. The energy recuperation process augments the range by approximately 20 percent.
ActiveE is the first BMW Group electric vehicle to feature an 'intermediate’ accelerator pedal position. This allows the car to utilise its own kinetic energy for propulsion, obviating battery energy consumption. It can be thought of as a 'gliding' mode. By contrast, conventional electric vehicles started to brake automatically when the driver’s foot eased off the accelerator. The car’s range can be lengthened further by going into the ECO PRO Mode. Here, drive configuration and comfort function adjustments are made, resulting in even less energy usage and greater driving efficiency. Specifically, less energy goes into heating and air conditioning systems, as well as the accelerator even though it retains the same distance traveled.
BMW ActiveE adapts the same sportive design seen in the conventionally-powered BMW 1-Series Coupé but adds circuit inspired graphics, a bonnet scoop and a closed rear apron distinguished by the absence of exhaust pipes. Interiorly, the seats are upholstered with Pearl Grey Dakota leather with Blue contrasting seams, while the instrument cluster is modified to include the main electric drivetrain indicators. Thus, its displays show remaining battery charge level, energy usage and energy recuperation instead of the conventional fuel gauge and rev counters.
The electric vehicle is versatile when it comes to energy sources and can actually be charged from almost any electrical supply. Overnight charging is possible through an ordinary outlet. Using a 32-ampere wall box takes five hours.