BMW is currently leasing 450 electric MINIs outfitted with a 205 HP AC propulsion drivetrain and 35 kwh lithium-ion battery. This author is one of the "pioneers" involved in the field test. BMWs plan is to take back the cars at the end of the one-year lease and dismantle them to learn how they handled a year on the public roads and in the public's hands.
"The MINI E will play a significant role in the derivation of forthcoming strategic and technological decisions, " says BMW spokesperson Nathalie Bauters. "In talking about their experience with the MINI E, customers will be helping MINI and the BMW Group determine the viability of electric vehicles in big cities."
"The MINI E is just one example of what the BMW Group is doing to develop future mobility concepts that are efficient and help reduce our impact on the environment and our dependence on foreign oil.," she says. "MINI E is the first product of BMW’s project i (i stands for international, intelligent and innovative) – a program designed to research and develop transportation strategies and new types of vehicles specifically to meet the needs of the world’s growing mega-cities."
And according to BMW CEO the first project i car will be launched in 2012 and be less expensive than the BMW 1 series or MINI Cooper.
The BMW City will be a 3-door hatch pure electric 4-seater with BMW styling and 100 mile range. It will likely get a new name.
Source (Car and Driver)