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Sunday, January 15, 2012

BMW Asks Me To Be The First ActiveE Customer

Ludwig Willisch, BMW's North American President hands me the keys to the ActiveE at BMW Headquarters in Woodcliff Lake, NJ on January 13th, 2012

The BMW ActiveE program is officially launched! At about 3:00pm on Friday, January 13th I was handed the keys to my ActiveE at what BMW called the "ActiveE First Delivery Event"

ActiveE's at BMW HQ
My wife Meredith and I arrived around noon and we had lunch with the whole BMW electric vehicle team including, Rich Steinberg, Hugo VanGeem, Marian Hawryluk, Rob Healey, Dave Buchko, Joan Bowen, Nathalie Bauters and others. We then were offered a tour of inside the BMW technical facility to the area they have dedicated to electric vehicles. BMW is obviously serious about the i brand and electric vehicles because they have a very large area with multiple rooms set up for their EV's. In one of the rooms they had the three individual battery packs that are in the ActiveE and in another room they had every EVSE currently available lined up on tables so they could check to make sure they all worked charging the ActiveE. I was told every one worked with the exception of the Schneider unit that is available at the Home Depot. For some reason it would connect and start charging, then shut off. The whole technical area is under construction to accommodate the future expanding EV line including the BMW i3 & i8.

My MINI-E next to my new ActiveE
Once the ceremony began, Ludwig Willisch, the new BMW North American president and EV supporter (replacing the not so EV supportive Jim O'donnell) spoke for a few minutes and then handed the mic to me so I could say a few words. We then walked over to the ActiveE there on display next to my MINI-E and he handed me the keys and the ActiveE program was officially launched.

My wife and I had a great time and it was a very special experience. I want to thank BMW for giving me the honor of taking delivery of the very first ActiveE, and for treating me and my wife so well during the whole event. There were a lot of video interviews done by KSB&P, the company commissioned with marketing the ActiveE and they will be available online soon. When they are I'll post the links here.

So after two and a half years with the MINI-E, I'm now driving an ActiveE and this is the place to read about my experiences with the car for anyone interested. Please feel free to comment or ask me anything about the car or electric vehicles in general. My MINI-E blog has become very popular and a lot of fun. I'll be directing anyone who visits that blog here from now on and hopefully we can have some great dialogue here, as was the case there. Thanks for following!

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