BMW ActiveE test trials, which debuted at last year’s Detroit auto show as the BMW Concept ActiveE, will begin in the summer.
The EV will be based off the BMW 1 Series coupe but will incorporate the automaker’s own electric drivetrain and lithium-ion battery pack. The model is expected to have a real-world range of 100 miles on a single charge before you need to plug it in for four-and-a-half hours.
The ActiveE builds on the successes of the Mini E, another electric vehicle being leased for field trials in New York City and Los Angeles. So far with those 600 lessees, BMW has learned that Mini E drivers don’t use their cars much differently from Mini Cooper or 1 Series owners; most trips are less than 30 miles round trip. BMW says the handling and acceleration of the ActiveE will be similar to that of a normal gas-powered 1 Series.
All of this is supposed to lead up to BMW’s first retail-purposed EV vehicle, the Megacity Vehicle, which should go on sale in 2013.