Mini Electric Car

If you live in Los Angeles or the New York/New Jersey area, there is a chance that you've driven past a revolutionary car without even knowing it. It looked like a cute, common Mini Cooper, but it was actually a Mini E -- an all-electric car.

Since June 2009 Mini has been testing 450 electric cars -- 250 in L.A., 200 in NY/NJ. They started out being available on a one-year lease for $850 per month. That may seem like a lot of money, but it includes collision coverage, maintenance and a home charger.

Drivers could renew their leases for $600 per month in June 2010.

The Mini E can run 156 miles on a single charge. But that is under optimal conditions. Normal driving conditions put the numbers at 109 miles in the city and 96 on the highway.

This is all part of a plan by parent company BMW called "Project i" to test and learn more about electric vehicles before putting them into mass production.

BMW has slowly been rolling out Mini E testing in London, Paris, Munich, and Beijing.

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