BMW Delivers First ActiveE Electric Vehicle

By Paul Riegler on 13 January 2012
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In 2009, Tom and Meredith Moloughney took delivery of a Mini E, an electric car that is part of BMW’s Project i program and that was available to private owners in a field trial that started in 2009.  Today, at BMW’s U.S. headquarters in New Jersey,  they became the firs retail customer to take delivery of the all-electric BMW ActiveE coupe, also a part of the Project i program under which BMW is developing urban- and eco-friendly vehicles..

The BMW ActiveE is outwardly similar to the BMW 1 Series Coupe and is built at the BMW Werk Leipzig.    The heart of the ActiveE is a permanent-magnet synchronous motor that develops 170 hp and 184 pound-feet of torque. It can go from zero to 60 mph in under nine seconds and its range is 100 miles (160 km) on a full charge of its newly-developed lithium-ion batteries.  The entire power pack – including power electronics and transmission with differential – is integrated into the car’s modified rear-axle support.

BMW refers to its ActiveE customers as Electronauts and BMW will deliver ActiveEs to 699 additional Electronauts in the coming weeks.  The ActiveE is being offered in Boston, Hartford, Los Angeles, New York City, Sacramento, San Diego, and San Francisco for $499 per month for a 24-month lease, with a down payment of $2,250.

The ActiveE has a special Eco Pro Mode that provides increased range.  By throwing a switch, the vehicle’s characteristics are changed.  The accelerator will deliver less power and the heating and air conditioning systems will use less energy.  The system also provides the driver with additional tips on how to drive in the most energy-efficient manner.

The eDrive display replaces the tachometer on the instrument cluster and displays the amount of energy being taken from the battery or the current amount being supplied to it through recuperation.  The needle will rest in the middle position when the car is not moving, indicating that the vehicle is ready to drive, presuming the battery is charged sufficiently.  The car’s on-board computer displays the remaining vehicle range.

On the car’s Central Information Display (CID), eDrive displays vehicle energy flow using an active schematic representation of the vehicle to do so.  The driver can view the CID in split-screen mode with route guidance or infotainment information on one side.

The Moloughneys drove their Mini E over 72,500 miles in 30 months.  “Calling the Moloughneys ‘Pioneers’ is very appropriate because they have shown the world that an electric vehicle can absolutely serve one’s daily driving needs without compromise,” said Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO of BMW of North America. “We are pleased that Tom and Meredith have agreed to stay with us on this journey.”