The future is electric, and BMW knows it as well as anyone despite the fact that the only EVs put out by the company have thus far been limited-distribution, lease-only development cars. The ActiveE doesn't change that, but it's another step down the path to a full-production BMW EV.
The ActiveE marks the second phase of BMW's EV development program, following the MINI E of 2009-10. The next phase will be the upcoming Mega City Vehicle (MCV). For the ActiveE, BMW is planning to lease over 1,000 cars in the U.S., Europe, and China. Feedback from this process will go into the production-bound MCV, due to arrive in 2013.
At 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, the ActiveE is among the more interesting EVs around, though it falls well short of the Tesla Roadster. It's more real than the likes of Nissan's latest concept, the ESFLOW, however. Built on a standard 1-Series platform adapted to EV use, the ActiveE should provide rewarding driving dynamics, even if it doesn't light up the dynamometer.
Performance is pegged at sub-nine-seconds to 60 mph, with 100 miles of range. For the full details, including background on its eDrive display tech, liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack, and "gliding" method of coasting down the road, hit page two.