BMW board member Dr. Friederich Eichiner unveiled the first MINI E this afternoon at a press event in Beverly Hills, California. The company has built 500 of the battery-powered cars that will be leased to customers in Southern California and the New York City area starting in January. Each car is equipped with electric drive systems and battery packs provided by California's AC Propulsion. The 35 kWh packs are expected to provide a range of about 125-150 miles on a charge and accelerate the car to 60 mph in an very reasonable 8.5 seconds. BMW is using the MINI E as the first step of its Project I, which is focused on developing new innovations for urban mobility. A web site will be launched in the next couple of days where people will be able to officially apply for the program. For those who get selected, the MINI E lease will cost $850 /month and only last one year. Check out ABG for more information on the car and what BMW is trying to achieve with it.