BMW is launching its all-electric ActiveE vehicle with a lease program for 700 dedicated customers. The pitch for the upscale car is that it’s “100 percent electric and 100 percent BMW.”
The rollout is basically “a field trial” of the U.S. electric vehicle (EV) marketplace for BMW, according to Green Mountain Energy Vice President Scott Martin. The ActiveE is not for sale. Only a two-year lease is available. BMW used a similar, 600-driver field test for its Mini E electric car. Feedback from that program informed preparations for the ActiveE rollout.
This trial is aimed at what BMW calls “Electronauts” and will be limited to Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, New York, Boston, and the state of Connecticut, where EVs are popular.
“BMW electric vehicle drivers,” Martin said, “are affluent, mostly urban individuals who put a high value on social responsibility and environmental friendliness. That’s according to BMW.” And, except perhaps for the term ‘affluent,’ Martin added, “that description lines up well with Green Mountain Energy’s customer.”
To further appeal to Electronauts’ enthusiasm and concerns, Martin said, they will be given the opportunity, for a one-time fee of $48, to purchase renewable energy certificates (RECs) from Green Mountain Energy that will assure the electricity they are projected to use over the term of the two year lease will be offset by renewable energy.
Green Mountain Energy will obtain “regional wind” RECs from Western and Northeastern power systems. By purchasing from electricity distribution systems where the cars will be marketed, the Electronauts will, to the extent possible, be supporting local renewables.
BMW is also offering its Electronauts the opportunity to install residential rooftop solar systems at a 35 percent discount. “This solar program, along with the new partnership with Green Mountain, demonstrates BMW’s truly holistic approach to sustainable mobility,” the company said.