These days it seems that every car manufacturer is looking to develop alternative fuels for their existing fleet. The lighter and smaller the vehicle, the easier it is to convert to electric. So… It should come as no huge surprise that MINI will be leading the electric charge (no pun intended) in the Summer of 2009.
Naturally, BMW is starting out cautiously, releasing only a limited number of the electrics, many of which will be headed to California as they will certainly meet California’s strict emissions regulations. (California requires that automakers build and release a set number of zero emission vehicles in the state.)
You’ll know an electric Mini when you see one as they will have a silver body and a yellow roof. They will be a rare sight – at least at first – but with fuel prices what they are, it shouldn’t be long before BMW ramps up production significantly.
That long-rumored, long-awaited electric MINI has been spied curving about the streets of Munich, apparently on its way to L.A. for the 2008 Auto Show. As you can see, it wasn’t hard to spot.
Debuting the electric MINI in L.A. is a no-brainer. It’s those pesky California emission laws, you see, that are pushing BMW in this direction in the first place. MINI is reportedly producing 500 electric cars as part of its innovative PROJECT I, which is designed to re-think low-emissions urban mobility. They may wind them up and let them go for a U.S. launch in 2009.
BMW boss Norbert Reithofer, who will unveil the battery-powered MINI at the 2008 Los Angeles motor show in November, said: “This step will allow the BMW Group to gain an initial knowledge of how mobility can be achieved efficiently using electrically powered vehicles. Our task here is to combine the ultimate driving experience with an efficient electrified drive with practically no emissions.”
Imagine that. A MINI with no tailpipe. And all of the cars will have a silver body with a yellow top. You know, kind of like a battery.
Aesthetics aside, it’s great that MINI is sparking the electric charge here in the States. Perhaps this will set the mark for future electrics from the company appropriately called “Beamer.”
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