To power its upcoming test fleet of electric vehicles, BMW announced AeroVironment as the preferred supplier and installer for the ActiveE's 240-volt home charging dock.
Based on the 1-Series, the BMW ActiveE has a 32-kWh lithium ion battery pack that provides a 100-mile range. The AeroVironment EVSE-RS charging station uses the industry standard SAE J1772 connector to deliver approximately 25 miles of driving range per hour of charging time. Using the EVSE-RS charger, a completely drained battery can be fully recharged in 4 to 5 hours.
BMWs aren't the only electric cars the EVSE-RS can charge--AeroVironment's weather-proof station is designed to work with any EV or plug-in hybrid that uses the SAE J1772 connector port. AeroVironment also supplies the home charging systems for the Nissan Leaf, and Jay Leno uses the EVSE-RS to charge his Chevy Volt.
In addition to 240-volt home charging stations, AeroVironment provides 440-volt DC fast charging solutions, which recharge batteries up to 80 percent capacity in under 30 minutes. Oregon officials tapped AeroVironment to install eight DC fast chargers at $80,000 a pop along the state's I-5 corridor and up to two dozen in the Portland area. The Nissan Leaf is the only EV on the market to support the fast-charging technology. However, the Mitsubishi i-Miev will be the next fast-charge-capable car on the market later this year, and the Tesla Model S will have fast-charging capability when it debuts in 2013.
BMW plans to ship 700 ActiveEs to the U.S. for long-term customer testing this fall. Priced at $499 per month with a $2,250 down payment for a 24-month lease, the ActiveEs will be available for drivers in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, Boston, and Connecticut. BMW will launch the all-electric i3, formerly the Megacity Vehicle, in 2013.