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...


kathleen said...

I drive a 91 Isuzu Trooper; it's rusting out, the rear bumper is sagging and the transmission is slowly dying. On the rear window I've affixed a bumper sticker that reads "Don't laugh...I'm holding out for an ELECTRIC car". I love small cars and would buy a new one in a heartbeat, but all I can get in the Midwest is the GEM or ZENN cars (neither of which goes faster than 35 miles an hour, which is impractical for the one stretch of street I need to take to get to work or to the train station).

The electric MINI would be ideal for my purposes to get me to my workplace, the train to Chicago, the market and my favorite local restaurants, which are within 10 miles of my home. I just need something big enough for me and my newfoundland (he could ride on the front passenger seat).

Why are car manufacturers acting like an affordable and practical electric car can't be made when GM had one in the 1990's?

My Trooper is giving me its all but time's running out. What would you recommend?

GBG said...

Choices are limited for small cars that are electrics. You might check out this site:
as it has alot of seemly good resources for converting cars and buying cars that are already converted. I cant think of any manufacturer who is building and selling a general purpose electric, but then I really dont know a whole heck of alot about it!
Good luck! - GBG