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USA: Aptos man to attempt driving electric BMW to LA in 24 hours

APTOS — In the past five months, Jack Brown’s put more than 11,000 miles on his car. And he’s spent nothing on gas.

In April, the 46-year-old Aptos resident leased a BMW ActiveE, a converted 2011 BMW 1 Series car that’s being used as a test model for the BMW i3. That car is still being developed and is expected to hit the market in late 2013. As part of the test program, Brown leases the car for $499 each month, gets free service during the lease’s two-year lifespan, and has unlimited mileage.

He’ll take advantage of that unlimited mileage deal Friday, when he attempts to drive the roughly 400 miles from Aptos to Los Angeles in a day. It’ll be a full day of free advertising for the ActiveE, a silver, four-passenger car whose body is striped in silver and blue, with lettering on the body panels that spells out “ActiveE” and “Efficient Dynamics.”

The idea for the road trip dates back to July, when he learned a group of high school friends would be gathering this weekend for an off-year reunion in Los Angeles. Electric vehicles have a reputation for only being good on short trips around town, Brown said. But he plans to show his car’s road trip-worthiness by leaving from Aptos at 12:01 a.m. and arriving in Los Angeles before midnight.

If all goes according to plan, he’ll make the return trip in the same quick turnaround fashion, taking off Sunday afternoon and arriving in Aptos within 24 hours.
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