Known for its sophisticated British design, compact frame and fast speeds, the Mini Cooper can now add environmentally friendly to its repertoire with the introduction of the MINI E electric car to the BMW MINI Division. Wolfgang Armbrecht, Senior Vice President of Brand Management for MINI, and Ulric Kranz, Head of Project i, announced that 500 Mini Cooper Electric Cars will be leased to registered MINI enthusiasts in New York and California.
Rather than relying solely on studies, tests and statistics, the company hopes to gain tangible knowledge of the electric-powered vehicles before starting mass production. MINI is focused on the day-to-day application of the electric technology and its ability to meet the driver’s needs. The MINI E is the leading product in the MINIMALISM campaign that strives for product recycling and the creation of lower emissions and consumption vehicles.
With zero-emissions and lower electricity consumption, the two-seat MINI E made its much-anticipated world debut at the LA Auto Show in November 2008. The car holds true to its fun sports car driving legacy as the electric motor can reach a maximum speed of 95 mph. Once the acceleration ceases, the car automatically begins to slow down, which reduces the overall use of the break pedal. This completely silent car operates on 1kW of energy for every 5.5 miles driven and takes only 2.5 hours to recharge the battery.
Responding to these green additions, Kranz adds, “Our aim with this project is to demonstrate that emission-free driving with an electric motor can be about enjoyment rather than compromise.” In addition to the environmentally friendly designs and features, the car maintains its original values such as the go-kart maneuvering, small appearance and traditional two-tone color.
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