Tuesday, November 25, 2008

MINI E recruiting

As if they will have any trouble at all, MINI sent out an email today to recruit folks who might want to lease an all electric MINI Cooper Hatchback. Count yourself out if you don't live in LA or the New York/New Jersey areas. Don't expect to carry much more than a few bags and your best pal, as the entire back seat (such as it is) is sucked up by the batteries. And don't plan on going more than 60 miles from home. You have to make it home to recharge, and 120 miles will be pushing it. In an emergency, you can plug into a conventional wall outlet, but you will need to run the cord from your motel room as it takes 24 hours to charge it up without the home charger, getting dirty looks from the motel manager the whole time. 

So, the take home message seems to be: go ahead and lease the car, if you don't really need a car. I hope they actually get some real world information, something more than yes, you can in fact run down to the seven-eleven for a jug of milk in this thing. 

On the positive side, it sounds like it is fast. The site hints that the acceleration needs some getting used to, as in, don't look now, but you are already there. And it is very quiet. Don't run over any unsuspecting kids or elderly folks who were expecting you to be making noise! Handling: as good or better than the conventionally propelled MINI. Could be that the morning commute just got alot more fun.

My guess is that MINI buyers will be lining up. And that is the bet the folks at MINI are making too, to judge by the FAQs at their site. "What if my MINI E dies, do I get a new one?" Sorry, no. "Can I keep it past the 1 year lease?" Sorry, no. Oh well, can't hurt to ask...