The BMW ActiveE.

The BMW ActiveE.

WOODCLIFF LAKE, NJ – BMW said it plans to begin testing 1,100 of its ActiveE models on the road in the U.S., Europe, and China this year, with a total test fleet of 700 vehicles on the road in the U.S.

The automaker said it will mostly test the vehicles with private owners but didn’t rule out fleet testing. BMW added that it recently field tested more than 600 MINI E cars, with a test fleet of 450 in the U.S.

The automaker said these tests will provide information that will directly affect production of the upcoming 2013-MY BMW i3 electric vehicle. BMW is testing the drive components and battery technology planned for the i3 in the BMW ActiveE.

The automaker held its first-ever North American fleet preview in September of 2011, during which the company discussed its upcoming plans for its i sub-brand, in addition to showing its current offerings.