Mini Says Half of Last Year's Mini E Lessees Renewed for Another Year

By John O'Dell May 12, 2010

MiniGatering.jpg30 Percent Rate Cut Didn't Hurt; Many  Waiting for Production Mini E in 2011 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.
Still, the car's a blast to drive and if you have access to 220-volt charging - or don't drive long distances and have lots of time to wait between battery "fill ups," - it can be a valued addition to the early-adopter family's stable.

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.

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boomerguy says: 6:17 PM, 05.12.10

This is the first I've read about the possibility of a production Mini E, and so soon in 2011?? Can you tell us more about that car? Are there real plans for production? Any details, such as replacement of that bulky battery pack with a smaller one? I'd be very interested. I have a reservation on a Leaf, but I've driven a Mini E and it was a ton of fun to drive. I expect that the Mini would be far more fun to drive than the Leaf. Thanks!

minie183 says: 6:42 PM, 05.12.10


My guess is the author intended to say the 2011 Active-E. This will be part two of the program culminating in the Megacity car in 2013.

The Active E will be a more refined four seat based on the BMW 1 series coupe, with a trunk and with telemetry conectivity with iphones as well as gen two batteries liguid cooled in a lager rectangular form factor.

The 2013 megacity car is yet undefined.

As a Mini-E driver #183, I have 14,500 sunshine powered miles in 11 months with no issues and no range anxiety. I have uped for year two and look forward to the Megacity.


John O'Dell says: 11:52 PM, 05.17.10

Indeed, the author tells us he meant to say production model 2011 Active E, not Mini E (and we should be, indeed we are, ashamed for not catching that before we posted piece based on his notes.)


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