The BMW ActiveE. Photo courtesy of BMW.

BMW offers solar garage option to ActiveE buyers in five states

BMW announced today their partnership with Real Goods Solar to offer ActiveE drivers the opportunity to charge their EV at home with clean solar energy at the 26th annual Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles.

With customer selection, Real Goods Solar will install a sufficient number of solar panels on the homes or garages of ActiveE drivers, who they refer to as Electronauts, for a price discounted up to 35 percent. This clearly demonstrates the BMW Group’s dedication to the greening of America with sustainability extending beyond the automobile itself.

BMW describes an Electronaut as: “A front runner of innovation and an advocate for sustainability – a surveyor of the present and a proponent of the future of mobility.”

The ActiveE residential solar system will be offered exclusively to those leasing or purchasing the vehicle, in keeping with the residential energy and charging needs of the drivers. Real Goods Solar will offer to design, install and monitor a turn-key system to ActiveE customers in California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York.

“Our relationship with Real Goods Solar is an ideal complement to the BMW ActiveE experience. It expands on the BMW Group’s vision for sustainable, premium mobility solutions,” said Rich Steinberg, Manager of Electric Vehicles at BMW of North America. “We encourage all of our ActiveE customers to take full advantage of this outstanding program which will enable them to maximize their ultimate EV driving experience while minimizing their overall energy and driving costs.”

The company will take care of permitting and incentive applications and guarantee their production as well as total system maintenance, if needed.

“Solar power is a natural fit for electric vehicle owners looking for a more sustainable lifestyle,” explained Real Goods Solar CEO, Bill Yearsley, “We are delighted to partner with BMW of North America to deliver Real Goods’ award-winning design and installation services to help ActiveE drivers harness the power of the sun to fuel their new sports car.”

The BMW ActiveE features a synchronous motor that delivers full torque from a standstill, accelerating from zero to 60 mph in a rather passive 9 seconds from instantaneous of torque of 184 lb-ft and 170 hp.

The motor is perched directly over the rear axle and has no clutch or gearbox, delivering uninterrupted drive at any speed. The positioning of the motor allows for newly developed lithium-ion batteries producing a range up to 100 miles on a full charge.

The potential to drive a car entirely powered by the light of the life-giving sun is one of the future’s brightest promises. Hats off to BMW for this contribution to true geographic freedom.