Mini Says Half of Last Year's Mini E Lessees Renewed for Another YearBy John O'Dell May 12, 2010
30 Percent Rate Cut Didn't Hurt; Many Waiting for Production Mini E in 2011
Edmunds.com has had a Mini E on lease for the past year and, as many of us have pointed out, there are lots of nits to pick.
Mini Es at a drivers' gathering in Los Angeles.
Mini wanted to find out just how valuable, so it offered the 450 U.S. lessees the opportunity to renew - at a lower annual rate - this year and told our colleague Bill Visnic, senior editor of Edmunds Auto Observer, that fully half the people re-upped. (We weren't one. Edmunds' Mini E goes back next month, a matter of budgetary prioritizing.)
Rich Steinberg, BMW North America Inc.'s manager for electric vehicle operations and strategy, said in an update about the Mini E test program at a BMW press event in Philadelphia this week that the renewal deal isn't being offered to fleet customers, only to individual lessees. And the original $850-per-month lease rate is being cut to $600 per month for the second year.
The second one-year lease is perfect to transition EV enthusiasts who signed up for the less-than-perfect test cars to the mid-2011 introduction of the production
Mini E Active E - an electric car everyone hopes will not be as expensive and that will demand fewer compromises (like the missing back seat now occupied by the test cars' bulky battery packs).
Read more about the electric Mini in our long-term Mini E blog.