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MINI E - Click above for a hi-res gallery

Despite thousands of people signing up for a chance to lease the MINI E, only 500 are being produced at this stage, with 50 of those are destined for Berlin. Now, after months of winnowing down the list, the very first car has been delivered to one very happy customer. After meeting all the necessary requirements and having a charger installed in his garage, Peter Trepp took delivery of his shiny new ride last Friday. He had actually just test-driven one the day before where he learned of his impending good fortune.

Numbered 111, the electric two-seater is Peter's to enjoy for a year and he already expects that the parting will be difficult. His first drive in his car, like ours, occurred in bad L.A. traffic, but he was more than content and enjoyed the entire slow ride home. Trepp advises other future MINI E "pioneers" they'll get used to not having to touch the brake pedal. The regenerative braking is relatively strong and, he says, "not bad at all." Drivers won't have to worry about the people behind them being unaware when the car's momentum decreases as the brake lights will come on when the foot is lifted from the accelerator. You can follow Peters MINI E experience at his blog which he has diligently been updating since March.




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 25 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Given the poor reliability record of the gas version, this guy might be begging to give the car back after a year.

      The $600/mo. lease on the FCX was a WAY better deal.
      Carlos
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think its silly for BMW to not let customers keep their cars.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Carlos
        Who Killed the Electric Car: the sequel.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hmmm, initially the lease thing sounds less than awesome, but it makes sense. Put the cars out in the real world, with real people, recoup some of your development costs (Probably a VERY small fraction of), and get some truely useful data for a technology that needs to advance as quickly as possible? Yeeeup, that makes sense. So too does making it an electric Mini. Something FUN to drive. Wish the guy luck on his year with the little car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      i got the call about this car. guess they liked my essay i submitted. but the federal tax credit didn't apply so you're stuck with the full lease payment, which comes to over $900 month with tax. two seats only, virtually no luggage room and 100 realistic mile range AND $900/month???? no thanks, you're better off getting a Yaris and donating $700 month to an environmental charity.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ...you had to write an essay? Nobody else did.

        Anyways nobody's leasing the MINI E because it makes economic sense. They're buying it for the opportunity to be one of the first in an EV. And if they have the disposable income to do that and it makes them happy, by all means--go ahead!
      JDM Life
      • 5 Years Ago
      If I want to slow down, I will press the brake to do so....don't like the fact the lights come on every time you left off the gas....seems access and will ware the lights out faster.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @JDM Life
        You will hardly use breaks in an electric as the regeneration will slow you down once you let off the gas. As such there is no coasting. I was looking at a smart ev video and they discusses how you could recharge your battery quite significantly going down a long hill.

        With a gas car you would breaking to slow down that much or you would be breaking on the hills and as such you would want the break lights on otherwise you might get hit.

        Of course I guess you could just break, but then you would waste power that could recharge your battery allowing for longer range.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wait, I thought only the evil GM did lease only on experimental EVs?
        • 5 Years Ago
        @sea urchin

        GM leased electric cars 20 years ago. And Volt is not an electric car, but don't fret, Toyonda will sell you electric dildos in pink.
        • 5 Years Ago
        GM is not evil, it's just dumb. GM made all this hoopla about Volt, but Honda and Mini are already testing their cars in real life.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wish I made more than $900/month to lease one of these things. I like it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Thats not Jay Leno? Enjoy charging it on the next blackout, I hear electricity is expensive, like everything else in LA.
      • 5 Years Ago
      $850 per month lease. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense [rolleyes]
        • 5 Years Ago
        Not buying any gas makes up the $500 difference, right? [rolleyes with emphasis]
        • 5 Years Ago
        Nobody's buying this to be economical, because it's not (money-wise).

        They're paying for the priviledge to be one of the first to use an electric vehicle in their daily grind. They're pioneers, I suppose. That's pretty cool, and to some people it's probably well worth the cost.

        The first Insight and the first Prius didn't make economic sense either. Heck, the current Prius has to be driven for quite a while before one recoups the cost.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Question, do electric cars really work?
      What about pollution from the battery? How is it recycled? Can it be recycled? What toxic chemicals are used in manufacturing the battery? How will it perform in cold weather, as in -30 degrees? What is used for heat/ defrost?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would have never guessed this guy would want to drive an EV!!!

      lol
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hopefully more car makers do 'sneak previews' like this on upcoming models so we don't have to rely on biased auto journalists all the time.

      Now if VW would just bring the Golf Twin-Drive testers stateside and lease one to me. ;)
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