BMW will lease up to 700 all-electric 1-series cars to selected customers in major global cities, the company's board member for sales and marketing Ian Robertson said.
It will be the Munich automaker's second test fleet of electric cars, one year after 450 Mini E cars were lent to selected BMW drivers in New York, New Jersey and California.
The fleet will be between 600 to 700 units,” Robertson said in an interview.
He added that the test fleet would be rolled out over the next year.
This new concept, called ActiveE, is a four-seat version of BMW's 1-series coupe.
The ActiveE uses a new-generation lithium ion battery and has a range of 170 km (100 miles) on a full charge of the 170-hp electric motor. It takes about three hours to charge and has an electronically-limited top speed of 160 km per hour (90 mph).
BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer told reporters on Tuesday that 1-series electric car “lays the groundwork for our fully-electric Megacity Vehicle.”
Reithofer added that the company's first full production all-electric car will be built in Leipzig and will go on sale within the next few years.
BMW is developing environmentally friendly cars as a part of its so-called “Project i,” a unit developing low-emission, highly fuel-efficient concepts that was set up in 2008.