Want to boldly go where few have gone before?

If so, you might just have what it takes to become an "Electronaut", BMW's term for the select few who'll be piloting the 2012 BMW ActiveE for the next few years.

BMW has started the recruitment process to find 700 potential ActiveE drivers. BMW's "Electronauts" are being touted as forward-thinking adventurers, just the sort of people you need to discover the relatively unknown world of electric motoring

GreenCarReports' John Voelcker recently took a drive in one of the first ActiveEs to hit the streets, and came away impressed with both the quality feel, and how the car drove. You can also catch a video of his drive here.

The ActiveE certainly feels more like a factory product than the MINI E, BMW's last official electric car trial. Both electric vehicle trials have been set up as part of BMW's Project i - a scheme collecting data to help the development of BMW's future "i" electric vehicles, the i3 urban electric car, and the i8 plug-in hybrid sports car.

Available to lease, the 1-Series Coupe-based ActiveE costs $499 per month over 24 months, with a down payment of $2,250.

The cars are built at BMW's Leipzig plant in Germany, and over 1,100 vehicles worldwide are taking part in the trials, with examples going to the U.S, Europe and China.

U.S. trials will be open in Boston, Hartford, New York, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco, so if you live in one of those cities and fancy becoming an Electronaut, hurry over to BMW USA's ActiveE site. It's first come, first served...


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