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Monday, January 18, 2010

BMW to lease ActiveE all electric 1 series coupe

Following on its test program for the Mini E electric car, BMW plans to offer a limited number of its Active E electric cars for lease, according to a report in an industry journal.

The car, based on the BMW 1 Series, was unveiled last week during the 2010 North American International Auto Show's press preview days. It is a four-seat coupe that will use an advanced rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack to store energy for a 170-horsepower electric motor. Maximum range on a single charge is about 100 miles, BMW says.

Klaus Draeger, a BMW board member, told Automotive News that a limited number of the cars will be leased to customers in Europe and the U.S. next year to help the automaker gather field data as it prepares to launch a retail EV - no word as to which BMW it will be based on - in the 2014-15 model year time frame.

He didn't provide pricing or terms for an Active E Lease program.

BMW apparently is pleased with the response to its lease program for the Mini E, whose 450 U.S. test drivers just got word that the program, initially scheduled to expire early this year, has been extended indefinitely.

Draeger said in the interview that Mini E customers have told BMW the are satisfied with the car's 100-mile range and with the ability to charge the batteries at home and, in some instances, at work.

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