• Feb 9, 2009
Click above for high-res gallery of the MINI E

BMW is facing the unenviable task of telling over a thousand applicants that they will not be receiving a new electric MINI E. Apparently, the German automaker has taken applications from around 1,800 people that would like to drive home in one of 450 available vehicles. Of course, that means that the majority of those wanting a MINI E won't get one.

Just to be considered for the program, a potential driver must live near Los Angeles, New York or New Jersey and must not require a range longer than the battery-powered MINI can provide. Other requirements include a lockable garage that can accept a built-in charger and a willingness to shell out $850 per month for a one-year lease.

The backlog of applications has caused a delay in getting the cars out to dealers. Originally, the EV MINIs were scheduled for delivery around the beginning of the year, but now the cars aren't expected to arrive in driveways until April.


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


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      yeah this makes no sense.
      1. How is 1800 a huge demand for 450 cars? I'd think you'd find many of them not PERFECT for your test anyway. Disappointing 1350 people isn't going to negatively impact your brand.
      2. there is no reason this should delay product. None. In fact it would make it easier to allocate the cars since you know you won't need to move them from one area of low demand to another of high.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why would you pay $850 per month to be essentially a lab rat? Doesn't sound to enviable to me.
      • 5 Years Ago
      among the gay population
        • 5 Years Ago
        That is 1. obnoxious and 2. wrong.

        Most of my gay mini-driving friends have since moved on to a more modernly fashionable vehicle. The mini fad is over, just clung to by trend-lagging heteros.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hey Tango....your ignorance is showing...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yellow side mirrors and some decals can't cost that much can they?
      • 5 Years Ago
      It blows my mind that people are willing to pay $850 a month to drive an electric mini. You'll never recoup that money in the fuel savings. I don't get the appeal to this.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It blows my mind that people are willing to pay $850 a month to drive an electric mini. You'll never recoup that money in the fuel savings. I don't get the appeal to this.

        I used to think this way too for the longest time. But I realized that you have to apply the laws of economics a little bit deeper than just a simple cost to benefit analysis of premium added to MSRP vs Fuel savings. The first models of new technology is always more expensive. Look at gaming systems, cell phones, blue ray, computers; all of them in the beginning, were very costly, but as production numbers increase, cost always decreases.

        Cars are very alike in terms of depreciation with any other modern technology. This is because manufactures put out the better and less costly models. The reason that they can do this is because the same reason Sam's Club or Costco is cheaper, bulk.

        Early adopters will always pay more. Look at Iphone, it was $600 when it came out, now you can get one for $200.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'll take one!.... Well.... Err... Once they are actually available to BUY, anywhere. Not lease in 3 cities.
      • 5 Years Ago
      $850/mo lease ?!?!? Are you kidding? What are these people thinking???
        • 5 Years Ago
        This is cutting edge technology. I am guessing the actual cost of this Mini, if they were to sell it, is likely to be around 40-50K. Remember when big flatscreens were $5K?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm guessing for the majority of people applying, money is not an issue. It's for the opportunity to be one of the first kids on the block to have it.

        I'm not sure why overdemand would delay anything. I'd just do it on a first-come, first-serve basis out of the applicants that are qualified.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @txdesign:

        5k for a flat screen? remember when a 42" plasma was 18-24k!?!??

        With that... good for them for getting that much money out of those folks! Most test beds you'd have to put the money out with little or no return until they were officially on the market!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't see why it's so hard to understand why people want to buy this vehicle. It's not about practicality or economy. It's about personal expression - the same as when someone buys aftermarket dubs or an Escalade over a Tahoe. Cars are not about point A to point B. I suspect that for the buyers of this car, the "green" motivators are much less important than novelty, expression, and a desire to push technology forward.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They are thinking that the Prius-snob type crowd will pay mafia extortion type prices to be seen in this thing.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I drove one of these last week, although not on a road, so I didn't get above 10 mph or so. It was...different. Not anything I'd want.
      • 5 Years Ago
      In other news we have at least 1800 senseless people between LA, NY, and Jersey. Probably more, but these ones are categorically confirmed.
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