As part of a special one year lease program from BMW Group, New York City will be receiving ten MINI E electric cars to join its Street Condition Observation Unit, also known as SCOUT. SCOUT’s purpose is to search out and report potholes, graffiti and other street-level damages throughout the city’s five burroughs.
The ten MINI Es, which will log close to 100 miles of driving per day, are part of a larger effort to see how these small zero-emission plug-ins fare in real-world, everyday conditions. The cars will be evaluated on criteria ranging from performance to ‘wear and tear’. A total of 500 MINI Es will be put to the test in New York, Los Angeles, New Jersey, London, and Berlin. 450 of the vehilces will be leased to individuals for personal use, while 50 will be used in municipal initiatives, like SCOUT.
Although Mayor Michael Bloomberg has committed New York’s participation in the year-long study, it was only two weeks ago that he announced that the city wold have to reduce its vehicle fleet by ten percent to meet recent budget cuts. The reduction would eliminate more than 700 cars, including more the 75 Toyota Priuses.
The MINI E cars will begin arriving in New York City as early as April.
The MINI E can travel in excess of 150-miles on a single charge. Its 150 kilowatt motor produces 201 horsepower and allows a top speed of 95 miles per hour. MINI will also be providing customers with a special wall box that can recharge the car’s lithium ion battery in less than three hours.