BMW offered the Mini E electric vehicle to select individuals on a lease basis for those few selected individuals willing to pay a high monthly fee to essentially test drive a prototype vehicle for an extended period of time. The programs has been ongoing and is utilized by the company to see interest in the vehicle, to determine what buyers expect in a vehicle, and to make changes as it prepares the launch of a production electric vehicle.
Now the company is reported to be close to offering its second prototype electric vehicle for lease and this time it will carry the BMW badge. According to a report on Edmunds.com, BMW plans to offer a limited amount of its Active E electric vehicles for lease in the U.S. soon.
The Active E is based on the 1 Series BMW model and was recently unveiled at the NAIAS. The layout is as such, it's a four seater with li-ion power and a 170hp electric motor. Range is estimated at 100 miles.
BMW board member Klaus Draeger told Automotive News that the company will offer a limited amount of the Active E vehicles for lease in Europe and the U.S. Details on the exact amount of vehicles to be offered was not discussed nor was pricing or terms for the lease.
The success of the Mini E trial led to the company extending the leasing indefinitely for the 450 customers who currently have this vehicle. Additionally, the success of the project has led the company towards another field trial. The BMW version is certainly more advanced as technology has progressed. The BMW Active E should be reaching lease customers next year ahead of the companies launch of a production electric vehicle scheduled for 2014 or 2015.