BMW ActiveE One Car Two Souls Newark BMW Examiner com

13 Июн 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи BMW ActiveE One Car Two Souls Newark BMW Examiner com отключены
BMW ActiveE Electric Cars

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It took a few seconds to figure out how to get he electronic “ignition” to understand that I wanted to “release the hounds” but I eventually figured out how to get under way.

In eerie silence, I made my way out of the parking lot and onto the twisty, undulating and challenging two lane country roads that line the central Hudson River Valley. I immediately notice that the all-electric power plant is surprisingly “torquey” – lots of oomph down low and linear power up through the gears (which, by the way, there aren’t any). BMW – calling this phenomenon “electromobility” — rates the torque at 185 lb-ft and the power at a very respectable 170hp.

While I did not have equipment capable of measuring the 0-60 time (BMW claims that the ActiveE can accomplish that feat in 9 seconds), my seat-o-the-pants measurements say that they are probably …-on accurate.

BMW claims that the ActiveE is a car with a foot in two camps. One foot firmly planted in the green, environmentally friendly, low (or no) emissions world and the other, the one we all associate with BMWs, in the Ultimate Driving Machine world. As someone who has owned a BMW for 18 years and who also marched in the first Earth Day in NYC, I can assure you that BMW’s slogan, “One Car, Two Souls”, isn’t just advertising hype. The BMW ActiveE is a plug-in all-electric vehicle – no, not a hybrid (hybrids have small gasoline or diesel engines on board to supplement the electric power). To fully charge up the internal lithium-ion batteries, you need to connect the ActiveE to the power grid for around four or five hours.

BMW claims that this is the shortest re-charging time frame on the current plug-in market. With a full charge, BMW claims a 100 mile driving range for the ActiveE. However, weather, driving habits and terrain will affect your real-world experience. For example, cold weather will affect the chemistry of the battery plus you will use power to heat the passenger compartment.

Also, in warm weather, you will be using the air-conditioner and that uses some of the power stored in the battery pack. Lastly, your driving habits – e.g. jack rabbit starts and high speed cruising – and driving on hilly terrain will shorten the number of miles you can expect per charge. To the ActiveE’s credit, its charge lasted well into the late afternoon after being driven briskly by dozens of automotive journalists.

When I asked the BMW representative how many miles of real world driving a prospective owner can expect to achieve, he said 100 miles of careful driving was possible but 80 to 85 miles was probably more realistic given our state’s traffic, terrain and weather. BMW has incorporated something they call “brake regeneration” technology into the ActiveE and it captures braking energy or the energy available when you drive down hills to boost the juice in the battery. I watched the battery charge “fuel gauge” go up several miles as I coasted down a steep hill.

When you have the “regenerate” button pushed, you can feel the car slow down strongly when you lift off the “gas pedal” as the electronic gremlins grab the energy and put it back in the battery. Pretty cool!

BMW ActiveE Electric Cars

As for my driving impressions, the ActiveE is a fun car to drive with a remarkably quiet ride (quieter than the Roll-Royce I drove later in the day). And did I mention it still has that addictive; bring a smile to your face, BMW handling and braking? Well, it does.


On tight back roads, the ActiveE was sure footed and the ride was well damped. On the highway, the ride was firm but not jarring, although you can feel the near 4,000 lb weight (those batteries really are heavy!). Braking is still pure BMW, which is to say safe, strong and with a good pedal feel.

Everything else is pure 1 Series – seats, visibility, interior layout and control placement. The trunk suffers since the electric motor and some of the electric goodies reside out in the back.

Is the ActiveE for you? That is really up to you. What’s your daily commute? Can you make that daily round trip in fewer than 80 to 100 miles?

Do you have a place at night to park your ActiveE where you can plug in to the “grid” using a BMW charging station?

If you answer yes to all of these and want a truly “green” BMW with the soul of a sports sedan and the DNA of an environmentalist, I suggest you check out the ActiveE. One car, Two Souls.

BMW ActiveE Electric Cars
BMW ActiveE Electric Cars
BMW ActiveE Electric Cars
BMW ActiveE Electric Cars

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