Is your next car going to be an electric vehicle? Are you getting tired of waiting for EVs to hit the market? If you are one of the 450 people selected by BMW last year to lease the all-electric Mini E, your wait is over!
The sporty, speedy Electric Mini Cooper currently is zipping around New York, New Jersey and Los Angeles. The company hopes that the experience will excite customers, who will then pass along the positive experience of driving the all-electric car to other potential buyers.
Although there are only two highway-legal electric vehicles on U.S. roads, unless you can afford the $110,000 Tesla Roadster, the electric Mini Cooper is probably going to be more your “speed.” With new EV and plug-in hybrid makes and models to enter the market later in 2010 and in 2011, BMW may be out of the gate with extra traction towards market share.
As of the date of this publication, you cannot yet purchase a Mini E. However, the lucky few that were chosen for the special BMW lease program will likely become effective spokespersons for the new EV when it hits the market. With more than 100 miles per charge and zero tailpipe emissions, there are sure to be plenty of potential buyers interested in the EV.
As noted on Wikipedia:
The Mini E was unveiled at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show. BMW is using its Mini brand to test the market with its electric powertrain technology but the vehicle was also developed in order to meet new California regulations that require carmakers to offer zero emission vehicles.
Currently, the selected customers that are leasing the BMW Mini E are paying $850/month. No announcement has been made as to when the electric Mini Cooper will be available for sale, or what the price will be. All we know is that it will not be on the market before the year-long field trial is completed.
Quick Facts about the BMW Mini E:
- With a 220-volt home charger, the battery can be fully charged in 3-4 hours
- So-called quick-chargers are in development that would allow recharging in 1/2 hour or less
- Operational costs are estimated at 3 cents per mile
- A lithium-ion battery pack feeds power to an electric motor that turns the front wheels pumping out 204-hp with a maximum torque of 162 lb-ft.
- 0 to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds with a top speed of 95 mph
- Seats 2 people (1 driver, 1 passenger)
After BMW works out the “kinks” of the Mini E through its customer field tests, and hopefully builds excitement for its all-electric vehicle, rest assured that you’ll see more of these cars on the road… driving right past the gas stations!