BMW recruiting drivers for ActiveE electric cars

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BMW 1 Series

BMW is taking applications for potential leases on the ActiveE, the electric 1 series. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

BMW is currently in the process of rolling out its ultimate electric driving machine. The company is taking applications in certain markets for people to lease the new BMW 1 series electric model.

Electric BMW coming to select cities

BMW is currently trying to get its electric vehicles off the ground, beginning with an all-electric 1 series coupe dubbed the ActiveE, according to AutoBlog, the all-electric counterpart to the ActiveHybrid series. The company is referring to the people selected to drive it first as “Electronauts.”

For those who want to help one of the world’s premier luxury vehicle makers refine its lineup and don’t mind paying them to do so, BMW is accepting applications for 700 available cars in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, New York, Boston and Hartford.

[Plenty of regular models at Momentum BMW in Houston.]

Cost to lease them

If a person is selected to be an Electronaut, it will cost $2,250 upfront and $499 per month for 24 months. The car itself, according to CNET, is going to be slightly less powerful than the garden variety 1 series. The least powerful 1 series, the 128i, produces 238 horsepower from the 3.0-liter inline-six that goes into most BMWs.

The ActiveE will produce about 170 horsepower. It will go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than 9 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 90 miles per hour. Charging, using a 240-volt charger, will take about four to five hours. The ActiveE has a range of about 100 miles, though the exact range depends on how it is driven.

Feedback goes to future model development

Driver feedback from the ActiveE, according to AutoBlog, is going to be used in further honing of the i series. There are two currently planned i series cars, according to BMW’s website. There is the i3, an electric city car, and the gorgeous i8, which had a small role in the most recent “Mission: Impossible” film. The i8, according to Automobile magazine, is a plug-in hybrid with a range extending gas motor, similar to the Chevy Volt and the Fisker Karma.

The i8 prototype is expected in testing to get mileage of 33 to 47 miles per gallon, with up to 87 mpg being possible. The car will produce about 349 horsepower from the gas and electric motor, accelerate from 0 to 62 in 4.6 seconds and is limited to a top speed of 155 miles per hour. The all-electric driving range should be about 20 miles, though it charges in two hours and is trickle-charged by the gas motor.

BMW says it should be available by 2014, though it is likely to be expensive. Automobile Magazine projects it will cost about $170,000.





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