Search This Blog

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

AeroVironment to Supply EVSE for the BMW ActiveE

For a while many of the MINI-E pioneers wondered what wall charger(EVSE) would the ActiveE use. For the MINI-E trial lease program, BMW installed Clipper Creek EVSE's in the participants garages and that was one of the biggest challenges BMW faced in the whole MINI-E program, resulting from a combination of a lack of information and understanding by local electrical inspectors and the fact that the cables came separately from the wall units themselves, bringing into question whether or not the unit was still UL approved.

Now that more than two years have passed since the MINI-E program was conceived, a lot has changed in the EV world. One of the biggest things is that there is now an accepted connector standard adopted by the SAE which will be used on all new Electric Vehicles and it's called the J1772 connector. The MINI-E used a connector made by ODU, that would only work on the MINI-E and obviously that isn't the right way to do it, but BMW really had no choice back then because there was no accepted standard.

Now that we have a standard that the ActiveE will use, the MINI-E connector won't work so even the MINI-E pioneers transitioning into an ActiveE like myself need to either have their current clipper Creek equipment upgraded to include a J1772 connector, or have a entire new EVSE installed. BMW has decided to use AeroVironment for the ActiveE EVSE equipment and installations, in particular the EVSE-RS model. The good news is that once this is done, this new EVSE will then work on any future EV that they get, and there will be no need to do anymore upgrades. I think this is one of the reasons that BMW is going to pass the cost of the new EVSE onto the customers as opposed to including it in the lease price like they did with the MINI-E. They knew that after the MINI-E program ended, the equipment would be useless to us so they really couldn't charge us for it, that is not the case now as we can continue to use the new chargers long after the ActiveE program is over.

It would have been a nice bonus to get the EVSE for free, but I for one didn't expect it to be that way.


  1. I want one! How do I lease one of these? Please post the details

  2. Courtney: You will be able to apply to lease one this summer at the BMW ActiveE website:

    Good luck, I hope you get one!