BMW ActiveE Drivers To Benefit From Cheaper Solar Power

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2012 BMW ActiveE  -  Driven in Monterey, February 2012

2012 BMW ActiveE - Driven in Monterey, February 2012

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"Yeah, but where does the electricity come from, huh?" comes the oft-sneering question when the subject of electric cars is brought up in polite conversation.

Sneery it may be, but there's an underlying point if your main source of power is something like coal.

However, BMW ActiveE drivers will soon be able to reply "from my discounted solar panels", before enjoying a moment of conversation-stopping silence while said sneery friend thinks of a suitable response.

That's because BMW has done a deal with Real Goods Solar to offer ActiveE drivers a 35 percent reduction in several East and West-coast states.

According to Detroit News, BMW says the scheme is aimed at offering "a holistic approach to sustainability that goes well beyond the automobile itself".

It should entice some ActiveE drivers to join the throngs of other electric car owners who enjoy the benefits of solar-powered motoring, and power their house with the remainder.

The ActiveE is already going down well with BMW's early "electronauts", and after driving the car both in the U.S. and in the U.K, we've found it to be a satisfyingly complete product, both fun to drive and high quality.

Real Goods Solar CEO Bill Yearsley echoed BMW's sentiments, stating "Solar power is a natural fit for electric vehicle owners looking for a more sustainable lifestyle".

With reduced-cost sustainable energy and extra ammo for those awkward dinner party questions, we can see the solar option being quite a popular one...


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Comments (6)
  1. The combination of solar power and electric vehicles is hard to beat. It provides real sustainability and could conceivably even work in an off-grid situation. The ultimate post apocalyptic transportation mode.

  2. They're throwing dinner parties for three year-old drivers now? What adult would ask a stupid question like that? I think they should be answered with, "The stork brings the electricity, sweetie pie, in that diaper hanging from its mouth." When you say 'polite conversation', you mean rich brainless conservatives, right?

  3. It think when technology changes, questions arise from people across the political spectrum. Those people at the leading edge need to have the patience to answer them, and hopefully have good answers.

    Not everyone lives with ecology at the front of their brains all day long and we need to have patience with them, just as there are things we don't know and they should have patience with us.

  4. @James: Reminder from your friendly moderator: Please keep it polite ...

  5. The funny thing about the question where does the power come from is, no one ever asks that question about your home appliances, electronics, pool equipment, or air conditioning. Yes my TV works on coal produced energy.

  6. First off, I have probably more solar capacity than everyone on this website, for several reasons: 1) the cost of solar panels, which have gone way down over the past 2 years and are subsidized at $1 per watt by the Feds, but today can be had for $1.20 per watt. 2) microinverters, which makes installation a snap 3) I did the install myself 4) I did NOT install on my roof, which is without doubt the stupidest location for your array. Why? because a) a roof location generates lots of heat, which lowers output b) the roof will have to be replaced, which will require removal of the array, and then re-roofing, then re-installation of the array. As for "sustainability," that's a joke: panels only last 20 years and only produce power in daylight

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