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First BMW ActiveE EV delivered in U.S.

by Ronan Glon

A total of 700 ActiveE EVs will be tested in the U.S.

BMW is offering 700 U.S. drivers the chance to test an experimental electric 1-Series called the ActiveE. After a down payment of $2,500, participants must lease the car for $499 a month for the two years that the program is scheduled to last.

The first U.S.-bound ActiveE was delivered this week in New Jersey to Tom and Meredith Moloughney. The couple is not new to electric BMWs: they an electric MINI E for 31 months and logged over 70,000 miles with it.

The ActiveE is powered by an 125 kilowatt electric motor that is mounted over the rear axle. It puts out 184 lb-ft of torque, enough to propel the car from zero to 62 miles per hour in 8.2 seconds.

The electric motor gets its juice from lithium-ion batteries that have an autonomy of about a hundred miles. To preserve as much trunk and interior space as possible, the batteries are mounted where the engine, gearbox, and fuel tank usually sit.

The ActiveE is rechargeable in three hours if plugged into a public charging station. An iPhone application tells the driver how much electricity is left in the batteries.

The data gathered by the ActiveE pilot program will be used to finetune the electric drivetrain that will power the production version of the BMW i3, scheduled to bow in 2013.

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