Friday, May 11, 2012
ActiveEs at the Mountain View Tech Center
I work just up the road from the Mountain View BMW Technology Center, and have had the opportunity on several occasions to speak with engineers there about BMW's electric vehicle progress and general green initiatives. This morning some of my coworkers with ActiveEs and I drove over for breakfast with them to talk about our experiences with the cars. After breakfast we got a shot of five of our cars in front of the center here. We're parked a bit awkwardly because an officeworker at a nearby office building had parked his Nissan Leaf at the public ChargePoint station in front of BMW. free chargers from ChargePoint America; the new solar incentive program sounds like a great deal; and we've had few major issues. After three months of driving these cars our main complaints revolved around relatively minor issues -- the missing Android App, limitations and quirks of the iDrive software, the inaccuracies of the Map data provider for the built-in navigation, and the car's inability to store the driver's preferences for charging times and Eco-Drive. All in all we came away impressed by the people and the office. It is a great experience to talk with people actually designing these cars, rather than only the sometimes less-than-impressive representatives at the dealerships.