BMW ActiveE 499 a Month Lease by Years End

first_imgSuch a deal: By year’s end, you can lease an electric BMW 1 Series, the ActiveE, for $499 a month if you’re part of a trial that kicks off in six major urban areas: San Diego, LA, San Franciso, Sacramento, Boston, and New York. Range should be about 100 miles using lithium-ion batteries. You’ll be able to impress neighbors with the usual electric car party tricks such as showing everyone the state of charge of your smartphone (photo below), and a couple new-with-BMW tricks such as pre-heating or pre-cooling the car while it’s still plugged in (to extend range). And of course it’s going to handle like a BMW, something the Nissan Leaf can’t claim. BMW kicked off electric car-prototype testing 2-1/2 years ago with 600 Mini E vehicles. Monday in New York it announced details on the ActiveE. The ActiveE fleet of 1,000 cars, all produced in Leipzig, Germany, incorporates feedback from the Mini E. One piece of feedback was, “Hey, what happened to my back seat and trunk [on the Mini E]?” so the battery pack is no longer the back seat; instead they’re underunder the hood and in place of the fuel tank, so the Active E has more or less the same back seat and trunk capacity as its gasoline-engine siblings. news from the Mini E and ActiveE will help shape a production vehicle due in 2013 as part of a new BMW i sub-brand. Also unlike the Mini E, when you take your foot off the throttle, it won’t feel like somebody threw out an anchor. Instead, BMW programmed in a glide setting that lets the car coast without any drag. With the Mini E, when your foot came off the throttle, the car immediately began regenerating electricity and the resistance of the generator acted like somebody applied the brakes lightly. The BMW ActiveE electric motor produces 170 hp and 184 pound-feet of torque. Torque not horsepower is what makes a car feel like it’s accelerating hard and on electric cars, maximum torque comes on at 0 rpm. BMW says acceleration should be slightly under 9 seconds 0-60 mph, which is more than adequate as well as something most every gasoline-engine car (not just sports sedan) manages today. By using lithium-ion technology, the battery pack weighs just 200 pounds. The batteries are from SB LiMotive, a Samsung-Bosch joint venture. Eco Mode for Even More RangeIf you’re into maximizing your range, you can activate an Eco setting that remaps the throttle and climate control systems for gentler power usage. You also get eco driving tips. BMW announced the BMW ActiveE, pricing and availability ahead of the New York International Auto Show, which starts Wednesday for the press and Friday for the public. Where auto shows and ces have an active press day one day before the show, a couple automakers are now doing presentatons two days in advance. It certainly worked for BMW, drawing a crowd of almost 100 to BMW Manhattan, a dealership that BMW owns directly. BMW set up a website, www.BMWActivateTheFuture.com, for more details on is electric vehicles and to “create a broader conversation about the future of mobility.”Start there if you think you should be one of the 700 U.S. lessees. You’ll pay $2,250 up front plus $499 for 24 months. Since this is a test car, BMW gets them back at the end. There’s no buyout option. *  BMW Evolve Smartphone App Tells If You’re an Electric-Car Candidate * PCMag.com: BMW Announces New Electric Coupelast_img read more