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Showing posts with label circuit graphics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label circuit graphics. Show all posts

Monday, May 7, 2012

ActiveE Personalization Begins!

The no oil and no gas symbols, the word "electric" and the license plate frame now distinguish the rear of my ActiveE from the others.
Now that just about everyone that's getting an ActiveE has taken delivery of it, people are starting to customize their cars to distinguish theirs from the rest. All of the cars come exactly the same so many people want to make a personal statement, or in some cases, just blend in with the rest of the cars on the road.

No stickers & custom wheels
Some ActiveE lessees decided to remove all the circuitry graphics, leaving only the small eDrive badges on the sides to distinguish the car from any other white BMW 1 series. You'd have to be pretty observant to realize the car has no tailpipe or recognize the hood bulge that is only found on the ActiveE to realize that the car is special. I think most people that see an ActiveE like this might think it's just a 135i with an aftermarket or M-series hood.

Some stickers removed
Others have removed some of the graphics while leaving some. A popular combination I've seen is removing all the side graphics except the word "ActiveE" and leaving all the graphics on the hood, roof and trunk. I've seen some of the cars that do this and I think I does look pretty good, however the ActiveE graphic looks a little too big there by itself without any circuitry graphics near it.

Still others have gone in a different direction and added thinks like chrome badges, stickers, magnets, bike racks and even interior customization like armrests. I decided to remove a few of the circuitry graphs, not many, but just enough to add some other personalization graphics in their place. I want everyone that looks at the car to know instantly that it's electric. I hired a professional pinstriper to paint a couple small plugs on the side coming off the eDrive badges and on the roof antenna 'fin'. The more attention the better!

My MINI-E No Oil & No Gas magnets
I also had him paint the "No Oil" and 'No Gas' graphics that I had displayed on my MINI-E, but they were magnets. It was always a pain to take them off before going through car washes and I even had someone steal one off the car once when it was parked in a parking lot. Then, after removing the circuitry graphics on the left side of the trunk lid, I had him paint the word 'Electric' to match the 'ActiveE' sticker on the other side of the trunk. He used the same font and colors as the stickers and if you didn't know one was painted and the other a sticker you would never know the difference.

As a final touch, just for added flair, I ordered a chrome license plate frame that says "My other car funds international terrorism" My wife's not so keen on this though. She told me she would have preferred if it said "This car doesn't fund international terrorism". I guess she has a point since she usually drives the 'other car' which kind of makes her the terrorist supporter of the family. OK, maybe I went a bit too far this time but I never said I was perfect.

What have you done with your ActiveE or what would you have done if you had one? Please comments below, I'd like to know!

PLEASE NOTE: If you have an ActiveE and want to custom paint it like I did, be prepared to pay to have it removed or repainted at the end of the lease if BMW requires it. I don't think custom painting is really an allowed modification. If I have to I'll have it removed before I turn it in. I just don't want anyone getting in trouble because they did what I did. For the record, I didn't get permission, I was afraid they'd have said no!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Current MINI-E Lessees Get The Facts on The BMW ActiveE

ActiveE @ NY Auto Show--note the name on the screen behind the car : )

One of the incentives that BMW offered the MINI-E pioneers in an effort to entice us to renew our leases for a second year, was that we would have priority placement to lease the BMW ActiveE when the program began. That was a big carrot, and one that no doubt made some people that might have been on the fence about renewing, do just that. 

Now that the ActiveE program is about six months from launching, and applications to apply for the program will begin sometime in the next few months or so, BMW reached out to the MINI-E lessees and organized private showings of the ActiveE, one for the East Coast, and West Coast. The private showings allowed all who attended to sit in the car and ask questions about it and the lease program and were followed by dinners hosted by BMW.

It was great to check out the car in person and Richard Steinberg and Aaron Singer of BMW spoke to the crowd for a bit and then answered questions from all of us. 

The car looks even better in person and I was really happy to see how the center stack information center displayed all the data electric car drivers want to see including state of charge represented in a percentage, unlike the Nissan LEAF's gas-gauge like bar system that doesn't give you the actual state of charge in a number, just 12 bars that reduce to 0 as you deplete the battery. I couldn't live with that, I want to see a number that I can easily translate to how many miles remaining I can drive.
Now the really great news. As part of the showings, BMW asked all of us to put our names in a hat and they picked a winner at each of the two events. The winner will get an ActiveE to drive for a week this summer, months before the program starts and the customers get their cars. I didn't win, but I still won. Huh? Well, before the drawing, I was told not to put my name in the hat, and that as a thank you for all I have been doing to help promote the ActiveE (like the live Facebook Q&A with Rich Steinberg) they are going to give me an ActiveE for a week this summer anyway and that I didn't need to enter the contest! Thank you Rich, Aaron, Marian & Hugo! It's really nice to be appreciated and I can't wait to get the car!

Anyway, here are some details for the MINI-E lessees. These do not apply to others that are applying for the ActiveE, just the current MINI-E lessees that are transitioning into an ActiveE. Additional details for everyone else, along with how to apply for the ActiveE program will be announced soon.

Current MINI-E Leases will be extended until the launch of the ActiveE so that MINI-E pioneers can continue to enjoy uninterrupted zero emission driving. You do not have to extend your lease past the two year mark to qualify for primary positioning to lease an ActiveE if you do not want to.


The ActiveE program will have NO MILEAGE restriction for any of the participants. You will be able to drive the car as much as you want to without any mileage penalty.

Unlike the MINI-E program, insurance WILL NOT be included. This lease is more like a traditional lease, except for the unlimited mileage and the fact that it is closed-end, meaning you cannot purchase the car when the lease is over.

MINI-E pioneers will be supplied and installed the new AeroVironment EVSE's for NO CHARGE and we can keep our existing Clipper Creek EVSE's.

While the lease price was announced at $2,250 down, and $499/month, you can put down more or less as you wish and the monthly payment will be adjusted accordingly. This means if you didn't wan to put down any money, your monthly payment would be $592.75. In NJ there is no sales tax on EV's so the $592.75 would be the actual payment, in other states, sales tax may apply.

BMW is using the $7,500 federal tax credit as a capitol cost reduction, meaning they took the tax credit and applied it to our payments to lower the overall cost to the lessees. Therefore we do not get to deduct it from our taxes, because we already got it in lower payments.

Wear & tear items like tires will not be covered in the lease like they were in the MINI-E program. All regular maintenance and repairs are covered, like they would be for any regular BMW.
The ActiveE can be ordered without the circuit graphics if desired. 

The car has a top speed of 90mph and is expected to have a similar 100mile range as the MINI-E, if not slightly more.