Crushed ActiveEs
This picture was from the tweet from Chris Neff, owner unknown and uncredited.

Several tweets, pictures, and a post have come by recently that has confirmed what I’ve intellectually understood would happen, but refuse to accept.

I am crushed. At first glance, and following Airton’s tweet, I thought that the cars spotted were in NJ and I was saddened, but not crushed…

However, at further inspection, the freeway sign was for CA-91 and that is a freeway that I often cross in my many drives throughout Southern California. The reality is one of those cars could actually be “my” Active E. I had such high hopes when it was announced that another eighty ActiveEs were making the trek to Northern California to join DriveNow. Now, I suspected, and others have mentioned that perhaps the spraypaint on the side refers to particular VIN numbers… If that’s the case, I can still hope that my car is in the Bay Area.

Furthermore, I am extremely sad at these pictures, but thankful that the Active E has made me Accidentally Environmental. I didn’t care about climate change before my Active E. I wasn’t denying it’s existence, just not really doing anything about it. And now… I do a little bit more.

Alas, these pictures bring me back to a jarring reality.

I am, metaphorically, crushed.

With one year left… Tips on extending the BMW ActiveE experience! – DriveNow

With less than one year to go on my ActiveE experience, I KNOW that I will be jonesing for more ActiveE driving.  I’m sure that the Model S that we have reserved would keep me rEVolutionary.  However, one never forgets ones first…  EV love!

So, what do I recommend?

BMW and Sixt’s JV in San Francisco –



My experience with drive-now was not positive because of USER ERROR and not their fault… Though, I was initially irritated with the process.

So, I looked into this product several months ago when they first launched. At the time, drive-now was in a few locations throughout the city of San Francisco and required that subscribers show up to a registration center to join them. This process stuck on MY idea of what the process is. At the time, I provided feedback via the Active E forums that the drive-now should go ahead and provide stations near the airports and/or mail the FOBs to subscribers directly.

Flash forward to when I signed up. Apparently, they listened to my suggestion, but I assumed that they only took the first part of the suggestion which was to locate these centers by the airports. So, I was on a trip a few weeks ago to Napa and thought that it would be fun to rent an Active E for the trip. I was arriving in San Francisco International on Saturday morning and figured to go ahead and sign up for the service on Wednesday prior to my arrival.

Since I had an early lunch seating to make at the French Laundry in Napa, I figured that I would just pick up my rental ActiveE on Sunday as I erroneously assumed that I would be picking up my FOB at the SkyPark Parking, located at 1000 San Mateo Ave, San Bruno, CA.

So, after a fun quick trip to Napa and Sonoma, we proceeded to SkyPark Parking at San Bruno to see if we could rent an Active E and pick up our FOB. So, we drove to the location, and told the folks there that I had just signed up for the service and would like to pick up the FOB from them. I did not properly read the e-mail confirmation of my membership that clearly stated that I should contact customer service should I desire to pick up my FOB at a registration center.

The folks at SkyPark tried to address this issue for me, but were unable to even get the process started.

DriveNow Tablet Error

They couldn’t even pull up the website. As I mentioned, it would appear that had I read the email from the folks at drive-now, I would’ve realized that I was complicit in making this process more complicated, but I do feel that they need to realize that they need to ensure that the parties that represent them should have tools that work. Additionally, it would seem that even if the device worked, the app that they are using is coded in German and they need to re-code it in English for this launch.

Oh well. Needless to say, now that I did receive my packet (the following week after I signed up for the service) I am hoping that my experience will be more positive. I will just have to find myself back in the Bay Area. I am thankful that this program does exist as a hedge for the time that I have to turn my keys in to BMW for the end of my Active E experience. I held out for hope that they would at least offer Active E Electronuts a discount on the sign ups, alas, that did not happen.

So, what do I recommend. First, read their communications. If you are looking to use the service right away, make sure to follow the instructions. Otherwise, if you are flying into San Francisco or Oakland, make sure to at least sign up for drive-now a week or two prior to arrival.

BMWi World Tour – New York City Stop – 42nd and 6th Avenue, Across from Bryant Park – The second floor

So, the first floor of the New York stop of the BMWi focused on the upcoming i3 and i8 Spyder, the second floor was more lounge and other types of experience.

My wife and I met Karim, a nice young guy fom the BMWi team who was quite personable and was on his first trip to New York City. Aside from the pleasant company, the lounge in the second floor provided a section on non-BMW products that they identified as “Good Goods” by designers and businesses that have developed sustainable products for use. Such as wood jewelry, urban gardening, designer headphones made from fully recycled metals, and large wood ceiling fans. All of these things promote more Eco-Friendly products.

Additionally, there was an art installation entitled the Red Paper Heart that is activated when the viewer inserts a finger in a slot and the installation begins a light show from that.

I took stils instead of video –

Initial state –



After I followed the instructions



All this eco-friendly design studio was tied to the BMWi Lab which is where the BMW designers seem to have tied in the entire thing to the design of the BMWi vehicle line.

Recyclable components are what is shown here –




Now, it just so happened that the morning that we flew in for the BMWi Born Electric Tour was part of the sustainability Hackathon that they were holding in the cafe section of the second floor and I had an interesting conversation with Charlie Oliver. Charlie was working with others to assist BMWi’s DriveNow carsharing service come up with a solution for inventory management and enticing users to plug the Active Es that they rented for the short-term so that the inventory is always available for use. She seemed to have a good grasp of the problem and I hope that she and her team were able to come up with some good ideas for DriveNow to solve this problem. Another problem that was related to this issue was also the management of the fleet so that it is more evenly dispersed throughout the Bay Area. It would seem that a good number of the fleet would end up at the same locations.