• Jul 9th 2008 at 12:39PM
  • 17
Although there may be a very small number of BMW's Mini on American roads that have already been converted by individuals or aftermarket folks to run on electricity, now the factory is going to get in the game itself. Five-hundred Minis will come off the line in Oxford, England sans drivetrain. The powerless shells will be sent to Germany painted silver with contrasting yellow roofs... what, no green motif? Workers in Munich will convert the vehicles into battery electrics, and the cars will then be shipped to California where they will be offered for sale. Unofficially, that is, as BMW has yet to confirm these plans, though that just seems like a formality at this point. Therefore, we don't have any specifications or pricing information to share just yet.

BMW could be making more electric vehicle plans as we speak, as the German automakers claims it is considering a line of zero emissions vehicles. What's more, rumblings have been heard of an Isetta revival as well, and those rumors also indicate a possible electric version of the smart competitor.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      500 cars isn't going to make a huge difference, and leasing the cars implies they have the same problem the EV1 did, which is that you can't actually afford to sell the car at a reasonable price, so you lease out instead.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Please watch "Who Killed the Electric Car". But don't believe the crap at the end where he exonerates the battery technology.

        Pay attention to the person from Th!nk. The problem was the cars cost a ton more and were far less capable. People expected to get more if they paid more and that's not what they were getting. So the cars didn't sell.

        The cars could not be made cost-effective for their capabilities back then, and they still cannot now.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Please watch who killed the electric car. It wasn't because it was cost prohibitive or because there was no market. I would have bought one if they would have only sold it to me. To say it's cost too much is an easy excuse for a car company. What if it really is this easy to put an plugin on the road? It would prove a lot of conspiracy nuts right that it's about helping the oil companies not about putting better vehicles on the road. It can be done if there is a will to do it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This car has a very good body to become a battery car. It's light
      have good space and the suspention and wheels are built to sustain 170 h.p with sport performance. A battery conversion if
      done at the factory should remove 2000$-3000$ to the producing costs.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm baffled. How can BMW just convert 500 EVs "just like that?" What about battery issues and all this talk about how difficult it is to produce electrics? Granted we don't know the specs and we don't know the lease terms...but geeze it sounds simple doesn't it?
      • 7 Years Ago
      An open letter to BMW:

      Dear BMW,

      I am ready to purchase an electric MINI.

      Please sell me one.

      I just bought a Clubman last week but I will trade it in on an electric version this week (and take the depreciation hit) if you will only sell me an electric MINI Cooper.

      It's time to put your money where your mouth is and sell these cars outright.

      You can contact me through the Owner's Lounge on your own website and let me know when I can pick up my new electric MINI Cooper.

      Any color and options you have available are OK, although I prefer Mellow Yellow and an automatic transmission with A/C.

      I can be flexible, though. Just let me know when I can pick it up.

      I'll pay cash.

      • 7 Years Ago
      This is very cool and interesting news. I think this makes a lot of sense and more of the manufacturers should get their butts in gear and do the same thing with existing body styles. If they can sell this at a reasonable price they should be able to sell a lot of them. Keep em coming!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Woohoo! Bring back the Isetta! The original Bubble car! That car actually saved BMW, keeping it alive after the 507 drained it of money.
      • 6 Years Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Thats is BS. I agree with the previous comment by Nuno. If they are going to lease them, then we are back to 2001 with Gm leasing the EV1s.

      Are they also planning to crush them after they try to change the laws with the oil money?

      • 7 Years Ago
      I'll have to "meh" that announcement.
      Until I'm able to actually buy one of these things I'm calling it greenwash!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why a damn lease only??

      I want to BUY and electric car that is mass produced right now. While we get killed on fuel prices and milked for every last penny they delay and delay.

      I already sent GM a note saying I'll take a Volt tomorrow and sign a waiver of no battery warrantee. By the time the battery dies there will be better replacement technology.

      My bro-in-law has an AC Propulsion eBox. The only one in Canada. If they can build a fast electric that does over 200km on a charge why can't BMW, Ford, Chrysler, GM, Toyota, etc. It's a freakin no-brainer. For me to drive 70km to-from work daily would cost:
      F250 powerstroke $650
      Beetle 1.8T $300+
      Golf TDI $200
      eBox $25

      That's right folks... $25 bucks. People are paying $10k to get out of their Hummer H2 lease right now. Shows you the desperation. Automakers are 10yrs behind right now in my opinion. If there isn't an electric car to be released in N. America for 2009 I'll convert my own, parts from http://www.metricmind.com/ . I don't give a sh*t... can't wait for these clowns forever.

      On other notes, found a source of clean fryer oil from a buddy's restaurant - a biodiesel processor is my next investment. Net cost of less than $0.35/L to produce. Any leftover I'll sell to friends so I drive for free.

      As it looks, I think the big 3 will go broke. Idiotic CEO decisions and bad unions spell disaster.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The eBox has $20K+ worth of batteries in it. And I'm being conservative.

        That's a non starter for most people. Ford or GM could build this if they wanted to make a car they only sold 400 of.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I am excited. It should be quite simple to charge the car on non-peek hours 12am-6am. However, i would like all electric cars to have a back up method of fuel of some type, or solar power switch.
      • 7 Years Ago
      BMW has been down this road before. Although the E1 was only a concept it seemed very well developed.

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