Ahead of its Geneva premiere, BMW unveiled today the brand’s first electric vehicle: BMW ActiveE. The 1 Series Coupe electric conversion pilot kicks off in summer of 2011 and the field trial will build on the success and experience gained during the MINI E field trial.

New York Metro and Greater Los Angeles will again be included and be joined by Metropolitan markets of San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento and Boston.

Just like the MINI E, the BMW ActiveE is a conversion car, an electric vehicle based on the body shell of a vehicle with a combustion engine. The BMW ActiveE integrates all electric drive components such as energy storage unit, electric motor and power electronics in a vehicle body that was not originally intended for this purpose – and without compromising on space or comfort in the interior.

The electric drivetrain produces a power output of 125 kW/170 bhp and maximum torque of 250 Nm, allowing the ActiveE to accelerate from 0 to 62mph (100 km/h) in 9 seconds. The car offers seating for four, compared to the MINI E which had its rear-bench removed in favor of a large electric batter. BMW ActiveE offers 200 liters of luggage storage.

With the newly developed lithium-ion battery unit, the driving range of ActiveE is approximately 100 miles (160 kilometers) on a full charge.

Being considered a preview and a test bed for the 2013 BMW Megacity Vehicle, the ActiveE incorporates a pilot series version of the drive train and energy storage unit from the MCV with a partly identical, partly similar geometry in a vehicle from a different concept so that these components may undergo preliminary testing.

Within the framework of the conversion of the BMW 1 Series Coupe into the BMW ActiveE, 350 newly developed body components ensure that the car fulfils the same high standards with regard to crash safety, construction space and comfort as the original vehicle with a combustion engine.

On the eve of 2011 Geneva Motor Show, BMW releases a new video of the ActiveE.