Yes, indeed. The ActiveE is essentially a nicely executed engineering mule. Although it's not as refined in some respects as the Leaf, it's very fun to drive. It has a bit longer range too. I grew up in Germany, and drove an Audi until recently. The planted feeling, and accurate controls you get in the ActiveE, are a welcome change from the Leaf. It's a very heavy vehicle for its size. Some went as far as calling it an 'electric tank'. The production car, the i3, should be closer to the Leaf in its execution, but with the typical BMW design touches, and lot less weight.
Interesting about how much the ActiveE weighs! I took a modified 135i to the dragstrip with about a 3150 race weight. Ran a 11.2 second qtr mile time. 0-60 in 3 seconds flat. See video of me running against a new GTR Black Edition.
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I actually used to be a BMW technician years ago.
Today I did a trip with mixed driving. 70% highway. 30% surface roads.
12 Bars Start (100% charge)
2 Bars End. (17 mile range remaining)
18Hrs Charge need to reach 100% again.
This time I took the slower side roads up the grade to the next town. On the way back I came down the freeway for the 2.2 mile 7% down hill grade. Interestingly enough this time the estimated range really started ticking upwards. At last 5-7 miles or so. When I reached the level fwy cruising at 60mph, the economy meter stay pegged at maximum for a good 1.8 miles. Still trying to figure out why the range would go up 3x more than the car ran on the max pegged econometer. But I wouldnt expect it to. But I do watch this process much more now, and am kind of amazed how you can come to a stop, and then accelerate away from an intersection up to a pretty good speed...(usually 34-45mph) on the supposedly recovered energy. Now I am curious as to just how accurate this is. If it is representative, its no wonder these cars and Hybrids have such phenomenal city economy. Most cars are like my diesel. I can get 44mpg on the level highway, but I average 18mpg around town. So a big question is why does Regen only register up to 30KW during regen/braking on the energy screen?? I that the max the car is limited to? (Why?). Or is the gauge just maxed out in the reading only?
On my expensive tier 5 (.32cent KWh) SCE domestic plan it was running about .50cents/hr to charge with my standard 1.5kw EVSE. So a very low battery might take close to 20hrs (25hrs indicated on the dash) or $10.00.
So again, $10 to travel from 60-80 miles, not too impressive.
I switched to a Time Of Use EV plan.
Winter Rate Peak: 10am-6pm
.13 cents per kwhr Tier 1 / summer .19
.27 cents per kwhr Tier 2 / summer .60
Winter Rate Off Peak: 6pm-12am
.12 cents per kwhr Tier 1 / summer .13
.24 cents per kwhr Tier 2 / summer .27
Winter Rate Super Off Peak: 12am-6am (only a 6hr period...need the EVSE upgrade!)
.11 cents per kwhr Tier 1
.17 cents per kwhy Tier 2
So this is much more reasonable.
Now that same 20 hr charge would theoretically cost me about $4.52 to drive that same 60-80 miles.
So thats more like it. Although its not as cheap as the SCE Time Of USE EV Separate Meter Plan...its still better economy than any ICE car. So I think I will be good with this without having to justify the $1000 electrician charge to add an extra meter. But come summertime, its going to be hard to swallow a .60 cents/kwhr during peak time. So perhaps before June I will decide if I still want to get a separate meter.
The Separate Meter Plan is
On Peak: 12pm-9pm
.22 kwh winter / .28 summer
Off Peak: 9pm-noon (15 hrs!!)
.12 kwh winter / .13 summer
So in this case, it might cost me $3.46 to recharge the battery. So about a dollar cheaper than the preceding plan, and a whopping 1/3 as much as the regular domestic service I was on.
The problem with the tiered plan is I believe it raises everything in the house to a higher rate once you reach the tiers. I assume even my usage in the super off peak times would go toward raising my entire house into the next tier. Does anyone know if this is how the tiers work? So really its not JUST the cost of the electricity to charge your EV, but you have to figure the EV is also raising the cost of all Electricity that you use. If this is so, then again, it looks like the seperate meter plan would be much better if I plan on using the home AC during the summertime.
But all in all, I love my LEAF. I have a $57000 2011 BMW M-Sport 335d that is a blast to drive (500lbs TQ, 0-60 4.5 seconds). Maybe its the new car factor, but I have driven this car much more than anyother car I have had in such a short time. I just acquired the car October 27th and I already have a 1000 miles on the LEAF. At this rate I will be doing 12,000 miles a year. By comparison, my 335d is now 2yrs old almost and only has 18000 miles on it. My Honda Civic, (which this car theoretically replaces) was only averaging about 400 miles a month. So way more mileage on the LEAF. Perhaps its because of all this range evaluating that I have been doing. I have been driving places just to drive and test the car, LOL. But its such a pleasure to drive the car. Other than the fear of the battery losing significant range/capacity, I am more than happy with this car. When you look at 35 miles on a Volt, or 11 miles on the Prius in EV mode, its impressive that the LEAF can even go 60 miles in my book. Also, if you averaged 35 miles a day, you would be averaging 12,000 miles a year. This goes to show on average, the LEAF can fit the range needs for a great % of our driving demands.