BMW unveiled its production version of the ActiveE electric vehicle at the 2011 New York International Auto show. The carmaker plans to ship 700 EVs 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 BMW ActiveE is one of the more affordable BMWs on the market. The trade-off, of course, is its limited range.
The BMW ActiveE is being billed by the company as a no-compromise electric vehicle. A zero tailpipe emissions vehicle theoretically means zero guilt, and yet you still get the same luxury interior and somewhat similar driving experience for which the BMW brand is known.
The car is based on the 1-Series, but under the hood of the ActiveE is a 32-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that delivers 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. A 7-kW on-board charger provide fast 240-volt charging of the battery with active thermal management that should consistently provide an estimated 100-mile range regardless of weather. Performance-wise, the ActiveE can accelerate from 0-60 in under 9 seconds, which is on par with the Nissan Leaf, maybe even slower. Nissan doesn't provide 0-60 stats for its vehicles, but independent testing by Green Car Advisor clocks the Leaf's 0-60 at 7 seconds.
The ActiveE joins the 600 MINI-E electric vehicles already undergoing field testing in the U.S. Test results and feedback will be used to enhance the upcoming i3 electric vehicle produced by BMW under the BMW i brand. If you want to take part in the field test, the reservation process for the BMW ActiveE will begin this summer and is open to drivers in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, Boston, and Connecticut.