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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The BMW ActiveE Addresses The Three Main Shortcomings The MINI-E Proved To Have

The MINI-E program was BMW's first step to producing an all electric car that they will offer of sale in 2013. The program has been a huge success by any measure, and valuable information has been gained.

Part of the being in the MINI-E program has been providing feedback to BMW about the likes and dislikes of the car. The three biggest complaints that were reported by the MINI-E "pioneers" were: 1) The fact the the battery takes up the entire back seat area so the car is only a two seater and thus is limiting. 2) The battery is so big, it even swallows up most of the hatchback storage space so you can't fit much stuff in the car. 3) the lack of a sophisticated thermal management system. This, in my opinion is the really the biggest flaw the MINI-E has.

Here in New Jersey we get both very hot summers and really cold winters so the it has been a really good test area for the thermal management system of the car. The California Trial Lease participants didn't have to deal with the extreme cold we had to on the East Coast, but those of us here on the East know how much impact the cold had on the MINI-E's battery. The MINI-E's passive system is nothing more than a fan that blows cabin air over the battery pack. It does work fine when temperatures are between 40 degrees and 90 degrees, but the extreme temperatures proved to be more than this simple passive layout can handle so BMW has designed a liquid based, active thermal management system that should alleviate the problems we had in these extreme temperatures.

There are a lot of reasons why I can't wait to get my hands on an ActiveE, but testing how well the temperature management system is at the top of the list. The other issues of no back seat and the need for more storage space have also been solved, as the ActiveE seats four and has a conventional trunk for storage.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Want to Drive an ActiveE?

Do you live in the either the New York Metro, greater Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento or Boston areas and want to lease an all electric BMW ActiveE?

The BMW ActiveE field trial will be similar to the MINI-E lease program that I am currently in and will start sometime in late spring/early summer of 2011. Complete details have not yet been announced but will be shortly. You can get the latest ActiveE information here and all official ActiveE information as well as how to apply to be in the program on the official BMW ActiveE website that can be found at THIS LINK.

Check frequently because the application process will not be open for a long time. I believe the information on how to apply will be posted in the near future so keep checking if you are really interested. I say go for it, you won't regret it!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

First Sighting of a BMW ActiveE on the Streets

The first BMW Active to be seen driving on the street (to my knowledge) was spotted and reported by  Bimmerpost and 1Addicts. The car looks pretty much like the prototype other than some subtle changes like gray graphics instead of blue, a hood scoop, different wheels & tires, a new lower front air dam and some other small body changes. I do like the fact that the sticker graphics aren't quite as "loud" and the big "Efficient Dynamics" sticker is no longer on the side of the car.
I have no problem advertising that the car is all electric and zero emission, but all the other stuff looks tacky in my opinion. Jump over the 1Addicts for more pictures and reader comments HERE.