Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey – BMW has announced that its upcoming fleet of electric ActiveE vehicles will be at least the size of the 450-vehicle Mini E fleet currently on the road in the U.S. The company was responding to published reports that said the ActiveE tests would be limited to 200 vehicles.
The ActiveE test will be the BMW Group’s second-phase field trial in the U.S. The Mini E fleet is currently being driven by a dedicated group of individuals and select fleet users.
“I would hate for anyone to get the impression that we are backing away from our commitment to EV development or the Megacity Vehicle project,” said Rich Steinberg, manager of electric vehicle operations and strategy. “Let me reassure you that nothing could be further from the truth. With one of the largest fleet of electric vehicles in operation today, we are learning a great deal. Those lessons have already been applied in our development work.”
Steinberg said that the tests include optimizing the operating range of the batteries in extreme hot and cold climates, and retaining the cabin and cargo capacity of the vehicle.
The ActiveE field trial will begin in 2011. In January, the company announced that it will offer one-year lease extensions to current Mini E lessees.