BMW Beats Competition to Market with Mini E Experiment

Applicants, who will pay $850 a month for the zero-emissions car for one year, are outnumbering the models available by 4-to-1, according to the Munich-based carmaker.

Published: 06-Jan-2009

BMW is signing up green-minded drivers to test an all-electric Mini Cooper with two seats, just enough storage space for a gym bag, and a range of only 120 miles before recharging, all for triple the cost of the gasoline-powered model.

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG will lease 250 of its new Mini Es in Southern California and 200 in metropolitan New York and New Jersey by March. Applicants, who will pay $850 a month for the zero-emissions car for one year, are outnumbering the models available by 4-to-1, according to the Munich-based carmaker.

BMW’s electric experiment beats Nissan Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. in delivering a fully alternative-fuel vehicle to drivers concerned about gas prices and global warming. Sporting a luxury-automobile brand name and being first to take corners in an environmentally friendly car trump functionality, said Mario Soto, a Southern Californian who signed up for one of the two-seaters.

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