Green

Meet the ActiveE, BMW’s first electric car

German automobile manufacturer BMW unveiled the ActiveE, its first ride into the electric car market, at the New York Auto Show today.

The ActiveE, based on BMW’s 1-series car, is a plug-in electric vehicle that can drive about 100 miles between charges. It isn’t going directly on the market, like the Nissan Leaf or the Tesla Roadster — instead BMW will lease about 700 cars out for $500 a month over 2 years. BMW didn’t indicate how much the electric car would cost to purchase compared with other electric cars on the market.

BMW said the car can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in about 9 seconds. The Nissan Leaf, another plug-in electric car, can accelerate from 0 to 60 in about 7 seconds based on independent testing. BMW is known as manufacturer of performance vehicles,  so some critics question why the company didn’t create an electric car with more power.

The ActiveE sports a 170-horsepower engine, whereas the Tesla Roadster can generate as much as 248 horsepower off its electric engine. The Tesla Roadster can also hit 60 miles per hour in just under 4 seconds, according to the company.

Drivers in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, Boston and Connecticut will be able to reserve the ActiveE this summer.