I HAD a chance to sample the BMW ActiveE while I was at the BMW Corporate BMW Group Corporate ‘Designed for Driving Pleasure’ event last week (see blog SMEs buy into BMW Business Partnership.
It’s most impressive.
The BMW ActiveE is a BMW 1 Series based electric car prototype ahead of the launch of BMW’s i brand and the new BMW i3 and BMW i8 models at the end of this month.
I was able to drive it around a course on the Bruntingthorpe test track.
It was terrific. Quiet of course – there’s no engine noise after all – but what really struck me was the beautifully linear acceleration; so smooth and effortless.
And the incredible retardation once you take your foot off the throttle (essentially the polarities are reversed).
It meant that, on a course that involved chicanes and tight corners, I never once used the brakes.
Which got me thinking: the savings on electric cars go beyond the cheap cost of electricity to re-charge the car.
Electric cars should deliver cheaper in-life costs – think less brake wear, less tyre wear, less overall maintenance.
And then there’s the general effect on the driver.
The driving experience is calmer and quite different from a normal petrol or diesel company car. It’s more relaxed, there’s less effort involved: switch it on, press go (the throttle) and occasionally stop (the brake pedal).
Now I’ve always had a rather dim view over the usefulness of electric cars to SME business users when other technologies – diesel and hybrids – exist without any of the electric car’s lack of range drawback.
But if anyone’s going to crack electric, then it will be BMW, I’m sure.
And with BMW’s corporate sales guys talking about the choice of pure electric i3 or range extender i3 with business car leasing rates in BMW 3 Series territory, then it’s time for SME firms with company cars to take notice.
Let’s face it, BMW has already done it once with its EfficientDynamics technology.
With the new BMW i range, BMW could be about to put your firm ahead of the technology curve.
More on BMW i range
You must read this. Click here: Biker power will extend BMW i3 electric range
And don’t miss out on this story: BMW’s electric revolution