You’re looking at a flatbed trailer full of "slightly used" BMW 1-Series ActiveE electric test cars that recently paid a visit to the crusher. The saddening sight of low-mileage Bimmers spray painted, pancaked, and parked atop each other is an unexpected part of the automaker’s initial testing of fully electrified vehicles in preparation for the i3 and i8 models.
BMW launched the testing program in 2010 with some 700 1-Series in a massive real-world field study with regular owners (that BMW termed electronauts) behind the wheels. BMW studied everything from driving habits to the cars’ performance over time while the owners reported back their thoughts and findings. However, now that the production version of the i3 is available and the i8 coming in limited numbers, , BMW ended the extended lease program.
The automaker announced it would be sending many of the used cars to a car-sharing service in California, but only 70 units have been allotted. The remaining cars’ fates were left in question as the owners turned in their cars for new i3 vehicles. That is, until this pictures surfaced recently on Facebook.
Granted, the ActiveE cars were all pre-production models that could never legally be outright sold to a regular buyer, but we can’t help but wonder why BMW isn’t donating these leftover cars to high school and college technology programs around the country. Perhaps we’ll take solace in knowing this flatbed represents only a small portion of the 700 ActiveE electric cars and the rest might receive happier fates.
Click past the jump to read more about the BMW ActiveE.