Yesterday, BMW officially announced that they will create 500 electric versions of the MINI, which will all be exported to California. 490 of them will be leased to selected customers with the remaining 10 set to be saved for display purposes.
The electric MINIs will be built at the MINI Factory in Oxford ,UK, then shipped to Germany without engines, gearboxes or fuel tanks. They’ll have a unique color scheme as well. Apparently, they’ll feature a silver body and a yellow roof, which eludes (I mean alludes) slightly to the project Struck's currently doing for MINI. (Check out my sweet, wannabe Photoshop skills pictured above.)
Once in Germany, BMW will equip the models with an electric powertrain, before heading across the pond all the way to California. This whole endeavor is meant to keep BMW in check with the Golden State's strict emission guidelines that will requires that automakers offer a certain percentage of zero emission vehicles. The success of the project could then lead to the mass production of the vehicle, sources state BMW are likely to make an official announcement later this year.
Bottom line is that MINI has the opportunity within its grasp to change the entire equation. And if anyone can do it, it’s MINI. But they've got to do more than lease a measly 490 cars! There’s currently an online petition requesting that BMW make the electric MINI for the masses sooner than later. Let’s face it, if the electric MINI’s performance is anything like the Tesla, we’ll be in good shape!
Thanks for the heads up Southern J.