Munich, Germany – The BMW Group has announced that it will build 500 all-electric Mini vehicles for private use in daily traffic, with all of them produced by the end of 2008. The Mini E will be powered by a 150 kW (204 hp) electric motor with high-performance rechargeable lithium-ion battery that will drive the front wheels through a single-stage helical gearbox. The car will have a range of more than 240 km.
The Mini E will be launched at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November and will initially be made available to select private and corporate customers as part of a pilot project in California, New York and New Jersey. The possibility of offering the Mini E in other markets is currently being considered.
The Mini E’s drivetrain produces a peak torque of 162 lb-ft and accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 8.5 seconds, with an electronically-limited top speed of 152 km/h. The car will initially be available as a two-seater, with the rear seat area taken up by the battery. Users can recharge the battery fully in two and a half hours using a wall box, shipped with the car, that is installed in the home garage and enables higher amperage.
Customers will join forces with BMW Group experts to assist in the project’s scientific evaluation. The cars will change hands based on a one-year lease with an extension options; monthly lease installments will cover any required service, including maintenance and parts. At the end of the lease, all of the project vehicles will be returned to BMW for comparative tests.
All of the Mini E but the drive components and lithium-ion battery will be built at the Mini factory in Oxford, England; the cars will then be transferred to a special manufacturing plant in Munich where the electric motor, battery, electronics and transmission will be installed.