Image Credit: BMW

BMW of North America and Real Goods Solar have teamed up to offer BMW ActiveE drivers a 35 percent discount on solar panel systems for their home. The incentive has been offered to encourage leasees of the all-electric vehicle to charge up their Beemer during daylight hours, thus using only solar power to “fuel” their cars. This would enable ActiveE owners in California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York to further reduce their carbon emissions.

The Real Goods Solar – ActiveE residential solar system will be offered only to ActiveE drivers and will generate enough electricity to fully charge the EV’s batteries during the day. ActiveE drivers, dubbed “Electronauts” by BMW, can choose to either lease or purchase the solar systems, with Real Goods handling the design, permitting, installation, and maintenance needed. And while many owners of electric cars would normally only be charging them up at night straight from the grid due to having to go to work during the day, there are many EV owners who could easily top off their batteries using just the power of the sun. Real Goods Solar CEO Bill Yearsley said that “solar power is a natural fit for electric vehicle owners looking for a more sustainable lifestyle” and I believe it could lead to more EV manufacturers teaming up with solar system providers.

The BMW ActiveE is an all-electric version of the company’s 1 series coupe, with a 125-kW electric motor powered by a 32-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. The motor is capable of 168 horsepower and can go 100 miles between charges. 700 demonstration-only ActiveE leases were initially offered at $499 month and $2,250 down, but all available cars have been picked up and testing is underway. BMW wants to bring the technology into mass production in 2013.

[via CNET]