BMW has delivered its ActiveE electric vehicle to its first customers in the United States. BMW has made a concerted effort to enter into the EV segment and the ActiveE is their first attempt, excluding the MINI E what was released in 2009.
Coincidentally, the first Americans to take delivery on the MINI E are also the first Americans to take delivery on the BMW ActiveE. Tom and Meredith Moloughney are 1 of 700 customers that are beginning a two-year lease on the ActiveE.
The ActiveE is 100 percent electric and still provides the performance and efficiency customers look for in a BMW vehicle. The ActiveE produces 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque and earns up to 100 miles of driving with a full-charged lithium-ion battery.
The BMW ActiveE is available for lease in the U.S. markets of Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, New York, Boston, and Hartford.
BMW announced on Thursday that they will invest nearly $900 million over the next three years and create 300 new jobs in 2012 at its South Carolina Plant. The investment will allow the luxury auto maker to create 350,000 vehicles in the mid-term.
The announcement of the investment will allow for the expanded production of BMW X6, X5, and X3 SUVs. The all-new BMW X4 will also be produced at the Spartanburg, South Carolina plant.
The BMW X4 will be released in 2014 and is said to be a mix of the X3 and the sporty X6. The compact crossover will share powertrains with the X3. The X4 will also receive many fuel-efficient features such as stop-start systems, brake-energy recuperation, and enhanced aerodynamics.
In 2011, this plant produced over 270,000 vehicles for over 130 markets around the world. BMW invested $750 million into the plant between 2008 and 2010 to expand production of the popular BMW X3 compact SUV.
BMW has been developing the i3, which is an electric city car, and they have been previewing a new i3 app for smartphones. This new app will allow for greater levels of smartphone-car integration.
Among the features of the BMW i3 app will be charging status and range and the ability to program routes into the car. Drivers will also have access to a full and complete route planner which will allow for inclusion of walking and public transport times.
Also available with the i3 app is the ability to pre-set charging times. This allows owners to take advantage of the cheaper electricity rates at times that are not peak.
Many expect the app will be released on many smartphone platforms before the i3 itself, which is scheduled to be launched in 2013.