MINI E: Making Electric Cars Cool
By KBB.com Editors on December 2, 2008 12:17 PMInterest in electrically driven cars is at an all-time high and BMW wants a part of the action. Heading up BMW's electric and urban car efforts is Project I (for Innovation, Ideas and International). The first fruit of Project I is the all-electric MINI E. Given the MINI Cooper's reputation for frugality it makes sense that BMW would choose it to show off the automaker's electric powertrain efforts. The MINI's small size presented a number of challenges, though, not the least of which was its ability to accommodate the sizable Lithium-ion battery pack which wound up occupying the space previously reserved for the back seats. The two-seat MINI E has a range of 124 to 156 miles per charge, can hit 60 mph in about eight seconds and tops out at a respectable 95 miles per hour, according to the company. While not necessarily destined for mass consumption yet, residents of Los Angeles and New York will have the opportunity to pay a hefty $850 per month to lease a MINI E for one year. If you're interested, be sure to fill out the online application as soon as possible because there are only 500 leases available.