BMW hasn't opened the application process for the ActiveE program yet, but it's obvious we are down to only a matter of weeks before they do. All along we've been told the program would begin "late 2011". We'll it's going to be October in a couple days so I think late is just about upon us.
Another clue that the ActiveE program is about to kick off is the recent update to the official BMW ActiveE website. BMW has dubbed the ActiveE lessees "Electronauts". I guess "Pioneers", the term they used for the MINI-E lessees was getting old!
I certainly don't mind it, but I think it's a little hooky. When the MINI-E program was launched in 2009, the participants really were pioneers. Other than a few Tesla Roadsters, and a bunch of homemade electric cars, we were basically the only people on the roads driving a 100% electric, highway capable car. We were definitely pioneers. However now there are thousands of Nissan LEAF's, Chevy Volts, a few thousand Tesla's and in a couple months there will be Ford Focus & Mitsubishi iMiev's on our roadways. In my opinion that takes a little edge off the whole pioneer/electronaut thing, since there are thousands of others out there already driving EV's that they own.
That's not to say we aren't pioneering, because we are. We definitely are on the leading edge of automotive technology and will be providing valuable information to BWM, allowing them to improve the hardware and driving experience so the 2013 BMW i3 will be the best EV available when it hits showrooms.
So soon I'll graduate from Pioneer to Electronaut(I wonder if they'll give me a diploma!). Do you have the right stuff to join me? If so get ready to take off soon....and apply HERE