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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

BMW ActiveE Facebook Q&A with Rich Steinberg and ME!

Rich Steinberg, manager of electric vehicle operations for BMW North America asked me if I would participate in a live Facebook Q&A at the New York Auto show last week. The plan was for me to answer general questions about living with and driving an electric car because of my experience with the MINI-E, and Rich would answer questions specific the the BMW ActiveE, which was being introduced at the show.

BMW does these Q&A Facebook sessions frequently and they call them BMW Conversations. You can view all the past Conversations on the BMW USA Facebook group page.

I had a nice time doing it and got to talk to the whole BMW electric car team. Everybody is excited about the launch of the ActiveE and that includes me. It looked fantastic and will have features like active thermal management, the ability to precondition the cabin and batteries as well as four seats and a trunk. As much as I love my MINI-E, I think I'm going to love the ActiveE even more.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Have ActiveE Questions? BMW "Conversations" Has the Answers

The ActiveE is making its North American debut at the New York Auto Show tomorrow. To mark the event and to help answer questions the public has about the car, BMW has set up a live webcast Q&A on Facebook tomorrow, April 20th at 5:30pm EDT.

I was also asked to participate and will be there along with Richard Steinberg, manager of electric vehicle operations of BMW North America. Richard will be fielding the ActiveE specific questions, and I'll be answering questions that are more EV general, and explaining what it's like to live with an electric car.

You can even go to the Facebook page now and post a question as along with answering live questions, we will take some of the questions posted ahead of the live event and answer them also.

I know there are lots of questions, so BMW is giving you a chance to get the answers.

Questions will be answered by live on Facebook ( ) under the "conversatons" tab, Tomorrow(4/20) at 5:30PM EDT/2:30 PM PST.

Monday, April 18, 2011

BMW ActiveE Lease to cost $499/month with $2,250 down

Count me in (as if that was ever a doubt!)...
BMW just announced the price is will cost to lease the ActiveE this fall. BMW is offering a 24 month lease that will cost just under $600/month when you add in the initial deposit of $2,250 and the monthly lease payment of $499.00.

This is very good news and Richard Steinbergs quote that the ActiveE pricing would be "competitively" priced to a Chevy Volt turned out to be accurate. 

Follow this link for the full press release.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

BMW ActiveE Pricing to be Announced Tomorrow at 1:00pm EDT

Well, according to this press release, BMW is finally going to give us the lease price for the ActiveE. Many of the MINI-E pioneers have been wondering what BMW is going to charge to be in the program for over a year now, since the ActiveE was initially announced. I've done my best to get it out of BMW, but it has been a tightly held secret.

Just so you don't have to look through the entire press alert, here's the line about the ActiveE:

Date & Time: Monday, April 18; 1:00 pm 
"US Introduction and pricing announcement of BMW’s first full-electric vehicle – the ActiveE"

So there you have it. Monday, April 18th at 1:00pm it is. All I can say, is it's about time!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

BMW ActiveE Live Conversations on Facebook April 20th

Want to get the latest ActiveE information and have your questions answered?

On April 20th at 5:30pm Eastern you can participate in a question and answer session live on Facebook. Richard Steinberg, Manager of Electric Vehicle Operations and Strategy at BMW asked me if I would participate in the Q&A session with him live from the New York Auto Show one week from today. I agreed and will be there with Richard talking about the impending launch of the ActiveE. BMW hasn't really released much information so far about the ActiveE, electing to wait for the NY Auto Show to announce the information about the lease program they are offering.

To participate,(or just watch) you need to log into your Facebook account and go to the conversations tab on BMW USA home page. The conversations tab can be found on the left side column but you may have to hit the "more" button first to view the "conversations" tab. Once there you can view the live video feed. You can even post questions a few days before the event (I think they are accepting questions starting tomorrow). BMW will review the questions submitted earlier and choose some of them for us to answer as well as questions coming in live during the event. If you miss the live broadcast, you can view it at the same location on the BMW FB page at a later time as they keep the conversations videos there for people to view at a later time.

I'll try to answer questions of the people I know (especially MINI-E pioneers!) but I'm not sure what kind of latitude I'll have in choosing the questions we answer. Feel free to also leave me a message if they're is something you would like discussed, I'll do what I can to introduce the topics people want to her discussed.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

BMW to Let MINI-E Drivers Preview ActiveE Mobile App

BMW has sent out emails to the MINI-E pioneers and offering us an exclusive look at the newly developed mobile app for ActiveE lessees. Unfortunately at this time it's only ready for iPhone users, Android users will have to wait a while before it's ready, but the email below confirms that it will be ready before the ActiveE launch. This is good news because BMW originally said they were only going to make an app for the iPhone, and not other operating systems. That prompted me to email a few folks over at BMW and to also post on the ActivateTheFuture forum that we need apps for other operating systems, at the very least and Android app since it has more users that ios. The good news is that BMW listened and they are making an app for Android, but it looks like Blackberry users will be left out. That would appear to be the reason why the iPhone app is ready to be previewed but the Android app isn't.

Below is the email that was just sent out to the MINI-E lessees:
Thank you for contributing to the development of the BMW EVolve mobile app. As a MINI E Pioneer, only you have access to trying it prior to its public release. If you have an iPhone®, simply sign up to preview the app. But don’t worry. BMW EVolve will be available for both iPhone® and Android™ smartphones once it goes live.

With the app, we want everyone to have access to data from their current driving habits to help determine if a BMW ActiveE or an upcoming BMW all-electric vehicle will be right for them. The app also provides access to exclusive EV driving tips provided by the experts, you. Best of all, this collective data will help BMW design future electric vehicles.