"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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