Californian Peter Trepp became the first person to take delivery on one of 450 electric-powered MINI E models that will undergo a year of field testing here in America and around the world. Trepp, who lives in Pacific Palisades, is a venture capitalist who specializes in providing funding for clean-technology startups. Like others who were selected to participate in the MINI E program, he'll be providing regular feedback to MINI regarding the experiences -- good and bad -- that result from living with an EV on a daily basis. Unlike most other MINI E drivers, he'll also share his experiences online in blog form through "Plugged-In With Peter's MINI E," at http://www.petersminie.blogspot.com.
In addition to placement with private individuals, a number of these zero-emission MINI Es are being allocated to municipal fleets in large cities, most notably Los Angeles and New York. Deliveries of the remaining U.S. vehicles are scheduled to be completed by the end of June. In transitioning from gasoline to electric power, these super-clean MINI Coopers sacrifice their rear seat to gain an electric motor that puts out the equivalent of 201 horsepower. It draws energy from a Lithium-ion battery pack that provides for a nominal 100-mile range, depending on driving conditions. MINI says the cars can accelerate from 0-62 mph in about 8.5 seconds and reach an electronically limited top speed of 95 mph. A dedicated wall-mounted recharger unit will allow individual lessees to fully recharge the batteries in their MINI Es in two and a half hours or less .