BMW ActiveE electric will be leased to customers in the U.S. and Europe

Following the Mini E trial lease program, BMW AG will launch a new program for its ActiveE electric-car. The 1-Series coupe based electric-car will be leased to a limited number of customers next year in preparation for launching a plug-in vehicle in about four years, says Klaus Draeger, the BMW board member who heads up R&D.

The BMW ActiveE will be leased to customers in the United States and Europe in 2011 on a trial basis, similar to the one conducted with the Mini E electric Cooper. BMW did not say how many units it will use in the program.

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The Mini E trial, which involved 450 units in the U.S., was scheduled to end in early 2010 but was extended indefinitely with some lessees saying they would like to hold onto their electric-cars.

The BMW ActiveE, unveiled at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show, is powered by a synchronous electric-motor making 170-hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. A full charge takes about 4.5 hours allowing a driving range of 100 miles.

– By: Omar Rana

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)