According to Jim McDowell, chief of BMW of North America LLC's Mini Division in the U.S., the first group of lessees for the Mini EV will be named this month.  Though BMW had postponed the naming of the first lessees until April, the latest news to come forth indicates that they will be naming some of the chosen lessees this month.

The lessees for the EV will be chosen from a list of over 1,800 applicants.  Applicants for the lease of the EV applied on-line.  This month, Mini will choose 250 customers in the Los Angeles area.  Next month, Mini will choose an additional 200 lessees in the New York metropolitan area with some vehicles slated for municipal workers.

To qualify for leasing the EV, applicants must have a locked garage.  Mini will install the materials necessary for charging the EV in the garage of the chosen lessees.  The charging system consists of a 220 volt, 60 amp charging unit.

The EV will be capable of an all electric range of 165 miles.  The power source is a litium-ion battery unit made by AC Propulsion Inc.  With the installed charging unit, the entire system can be recharged in as little as two and a half hours.  With a standard 110 volt power supply, charging times increase to 24 hours.

Lessees will pay $850 a month for a one year lease of the EV.  At the conclusion of the lease, vehicles will be turned in for evalution by engineers at Mini.