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Thursday, February 24, 2011

ActiveE lease price to be "Competitive with the Volt's $350 per month"


I hope Richard Steinberg wasn't misquoted when he told the the LA Times the ActiveE's lease price would be competitive with the Chevy Volt's $350 per month! After paying $800 per month the first year and then $600 per month the second year to lease the MINI-E, I wasn't too sure where BMW would set the lease price on the ActiveE. But I figured it would be in the $500-$600 area.

BMW had to understand that there are options now (Volt, LEAF) that were not there when the MINI-E program was launched. Back then, if you wanted to drive an electric car, you either spent $100,000 on a Tesla, built your own, or leased a MINI-E! They were the only game in town!  Luckily, things have changed and there are options. There is still a vocal group of people blasting BMW for not selling the ActiveE, and electing to continue the testing programs for another two years before the i3 hit the showrooms.

BMW knows what they are doing and really wants the first EV they sell, to be a purpose built electric car designed from the ground up, not just another retrofitted ICE conversions, which is really what the MINI-E and ActiveE are. That being said, I'm sure they could sell they could sell the ActiveE if they offered it, as they could the MINI-E. Plenty of the MINI-E pioneers have expressed interest in buying the car, but that is not going to be an option. Instead when the US program ends this year the cars will be refurbished and delivered to other countries of the world to allow new markets to get a taste of electric cars in advance of them being offered for sale there.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Project i Countdown Appears. Tomorrow Morning is Liftoff



Tomorrow morning at 9:15am eastern the countdown that BMW has started on the Project I website will hit zero. What information will be revealed? Will we get a better glimpse of the megacity vehicle? Will we finally get it's real name? How about ActiveE information? I'm sure there will be a lot of ActiveE talk, what wee we learn? Also, what details will we learn about the new BMW sub brand that the megacity will be launched under? It's less than 20 hours away now and hopefully we can get answers to some of the questions we've been debating for the past year or so. I think this is the beginning of the new marketing strategy BMW is going to employ. Instead of keeping things quiet about their electric car plans, they are now going to let us know what they have been working on since Project i began.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

BMW Interactive ActiveE Website Goes Live


The information keeps coming as BMW just yesterday made a new interactive ActiveE site available. There's everything you need to know about the ActiveE other than the cost of the lease which hasn't been announced yet. You can even print out a complete sales brochure (look at the bottom of the page for the catalogue icon)

Friday, February 11, 2011

BMW ActiveE Video

Click on the link below to view an 18 minute ActiveE video:
BMW ActiveE Video

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Production Photo's of the ActiveE Appear

The internet was a buzz today with photos of what appears to be the actual production version of the BMW ActiveE. I knew we were going to be getting something soon, since these cars are due to begin production in the very near future. No new technical details have been released, but the photos reveal some subtle changes from the original prototype. I do like the use of the less obvious silver graphics, the bright blue was a bit loud for my taste. The hood now has a bump in it. If you look at the picture of technical layout of the car, you'll see BMW has put a block of batteries under the hood which accounts for the slight bump. Also the wheels are completely different, as is the front grill, also something I expected. You never see prototype wheels actually make it to production.  I'm sure we'll be getting more news soon as the ActiveE program is really about to accelerate as we draw closer to the application process.
Click on the photos below to enlarge them.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

BMW North American President Jim O'Donnell Gives Diesel Thumbs up, Electric Cars Thumbs Down!


In what I would call nothing short of shocking, (to me at least) BMW North American President Jim O'Donnell basically said Electric cars are rubbish. He said only the early adopters of LA are really interested and electric cars are "a niche that can only be used in the city" and "there's no point living in the country and having an electric car"
Really?? Maybe he should look at my file and see where I'm driving his MINI-E #250!!!
I don't want to really harp on this. Nothing good can come out of it. I just wonder how his bosses in Munich feel about airing this strong opinion. I really don't think this opinion is shared by the brain trust over there. If so, they are certainly spending a lot of money on a technology that is "all hype"

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

BMW Film: The Future Just Isn't What It Used To Be


The second of four short films by BMW about the future of mobility is now available to view HERE. Every Tuesday in February a new one will be made available at the BMW activate the future website.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

BMW Film: The New City


The first of four films about the future of mobility is now available HERE. I'm in one of the scenes but didn't say anything. Peder Norby, one of the other MINI-E pioneers I am with has a nice role talking about parking and how much space cars really take up.

The other three films will be available at the site soon, with a new one released every Tuesday in February. I'm not sure how many of the films Peder, Todd & I will be in, but we talked about a wide variety of things so I think they could fit us into all the films if they wanted to. Actually, I was thinking we wouldn't be in the first one at all because we didn't really talk too much about future cities but they did get us in there a bit.