BMW ActiveE First Drive: At The Wheel (Video)

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Yesterday we reviewed the BMW ActiveE electric car after spending an afternoon in the first ActiveE delivered in the U.S.

Now, we have a brief video clip to take you inside the car, hitting some of the high points of the driving experience.

The clip starts with the car at rest in the remarkably scenic precincts of Morris County, New Jersey (hey, no Jersey jokes!), and continues through a cycle of acceleration and braking.

Note the car's relative silence compared to a gasoline 1-Series with the accelerator floored, and the smooth transition from power to regenerative braking as it slows down.

As we wrote, the BMW ActiveE is "solid, comfortable, performs well, and feels far more like a production car than its predecessor, the Mini E"--which we weren't that impressed with.

The ActiveE is essentially a BMW 1-Series two-door sedan converted from gasoline to electric power.

It uses a large 32-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, broken into sections mounted in the tunnel, under the rear seat, and in the previous gas-tank location, to power a 125-kilowatt (168-horsepower) electric motor driving the rear wheels.

Performance is borderline brisk in Normal driving mode, and more acceptable than most electrified vehicles in its "EcoPro" energy-conserving mode.

Let us know your impressions of the ActiveE and our short test-drive video. Leave us your thoughts in the Comments below.


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Comments (8)
  1. It sounds like BMW learned allot from the Mini-E and it's lease participants and as a result the ActiveE represents an evolution that will continue to improve their future EVs.

  2. Nice. I think the cameraman in particular did a great job, you should bring him along for all your EV first drives ;)

  3. So... the test drive was 1 minute of driving in a straight line at low speeds? Bit hard to base an impression on that. A demonstration of cornering behaviour might have been in order since this weighs in like a panzer tank. I do think this is a pretty cool car though.

  4. Chris: No, we did a 67 mile, two hour test drive. We only recorded this little one minute video though.

  5. Thanks for not posting the full 2 hours :)

  6. @Chris: As Tom M notes, no. We did 67 miles through a variety of terrain, at a variety of speeds, in Normal and EcoPro modes, over (more than) two hours. The link to the full road test is in the *first sentence* of this short article.

  7. What is the shaking/rattling sounding noise from? Seems pretty cool for a 1st bmw electric.

  8. With nothing buy conversions to display, I'd say that BMW is not fully committed to the electric concept. They are still light years behind Tesla

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