BMW and Boulder, CO-based energy management company Tendril will build a demonstration home designed to power BMW's ActiveE electric vehicle while minimizing the home and the car's carbon footprint, the New York Times reported.

The home, which will be built at BMW's San Francisco Bay Area technology office by this March, will have "smart" thermostats, solar panels and appliances, the newspaper said, citing the companies, which didn't disclose how much the house will cost to build. The home will manage energy delivery to minimize power usage during the costliest times on the grid.

The German automaker is joining Toyota and Nissan among electric-drive car makers that are building demonstration homes geared towards getting data on "smart" energy usage. Last August, Nissan started selling a home system in Japan that allowed the Leaf to be used as backup electricity-storage system for homes. The Leaf, if it starts with its 24-kilowatt-hour battery fully charged, can supply enough electricity to power a typical Japanese home for about two days, Nissan said at the time.

BMW last week delivered its ActiveE electric vehicle to its first U.S. customers, as the German automaker enters the next phase its domestic EV testing after the Mini E. The car will be available in Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, New York, Boston and Hartford, CT, at a rate of $499 a month with a $2,250 downpayment. Open enrollment for the program started this week.
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