Selling 54,000 vehicles in the US last year MINI experienced a 29% increase from the previous year. That makes the US MINIs largest single market.

MINI will be the first premium manufacturer deploying a fleet of fully electric-powered cars for private use in daily traffic in the United States and Germany. This vehicle is a project designed to demonstrate a whole new dimension of individual mobility:

• The MINI E is entirely emission-free.
• It is driver-friendly and ideal for everyday.
• The MINI E is just as much fun to drive as a MINI with a combustion engine.
The vehicle offers customers a range of 156 miles, which will enable people living in large cities all around the world to be able to commute to work – in a way that is both environmentally-friendly and efficient. Then, in the evening, you just have to recharge your MINI E in your garage.

The lithium-ion battery can be fully recharged in just two and a half hours.

MINI E cutaway

Besides having an extensive range, the MINI E’s performance also makes it fun to drive. The MINI E’s electric motor with 201 horsepower accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in just 8.5 seconds – and doesn’t stop until it reaches 95 mph.

500 US customers are and will be testing the MINI E in normal traffic conditions in and around Los Angeles and New York City. We will also be testing MINI E cars in Berlin, Germany.

Which brings me right into the next chunk of news from MINI.

2010 MINI E

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg Announces Use of MINI E Electric Cars provided by BMW Group to City of New York in State of the City Speech
The MINI E is a zero-emissions fully electric car

New York, NY – January 15, 2009… New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced in his State-of-the-City speech that BMW Group will loan a fleet of 10 MINI E electric zero-emissions cars to the City of New York. These vehicles will be used in its Street Condition Observation Unit, known as SCOUT, and will be among the 500 MINI Es the BMW Group is producing as part of a one-year pilot field study to determine the viability of electric vehicles in real life use. The MINI Es will be used by SCOUT inspectors who drive New York City’s streets in search of street conditions, such as potholes and graffiti. The vehicles are scheduled to begin arriving in April.

The MINI E is the first product of BMW’s Project i, a program designed to research and develop transportation strategies and new types of vehicles specifically to meet the needs of the world’s growing mega-cities, of which New York is one.

“We are delighted to work with New York City in developing this new form of sustainable transportation,” said Jim McDowell, Vice President of MINI USA. “Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC initiative has demonstrated a keen understanding of the importance of sustainability and we fully share the same vision and enthusiasm for developing new ideas, technologies and forms of transportation to make it a reality. This MINI E zero-emission vehicle is only our company’s first step.”

The MINI E can travel more than 150 miles on a single charge and provides the agility and handling of a MINI Cooper. It is powered by a 150 kilowatt electric motor with the equivalent of 201 hp. The energy supply comes from a high-performance rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The vehicle, which debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 8.5 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 95 mph. MINI will install a special wall box into each MINI E customer’s garage that can fully recharge a completely drained battery in just two-and-a-half hours.

The 500 MINI Es will be deployed in New York and New Jersey and Los Angeles metropolitan areas with additional vehicles being tested in Berlin, Germany and London, England. Of the 500 U.S. vehicles, 450 will be leased to customers that applied online at MINIUSA.com to be part of the one-year field study. The others will be dedicated to full-time extensive and intense daily use in select fleets, such as the NYC SCOUT fleet. Those selected will be asked to provide ongoing real world use feedback to BMW on their experience with the zero-emission electric cars. More than twice the number of people applied as there are cars available in the U.S.

BMW has also arranged to provide MINI Es to the city of Los Angeles to test the MINI E in conditions different from those in New York City.

In New York City, the MINI Es will serve as SCOUT vehicles and be deployed across the five boroughs beginning this spring for one year. The vehicle operators help identify problems on New York City streets and ascertain whether complaints logged into the City’s 311 phone system are being adequately addressed. SCOUT vehicles log nearly 100 miles per day.
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