Mini E is searching for 20 applicants to lease its prototype electronic car as part of its research into launching the model in the UK.
Applicants can apply on www.electricmini.co.uk to become one of the test subjects from December but they will still have to pay a reduced £330 lease rate over the six month test period. The rate includes VAT, insurance and maintenance and was reduced from the normal £550 due to BMW partially using the £25 million it got from the Technology Strategy Board, the Government-backed organisation that promotes technology innovation across the UK.
The Mini E driver also pays for the electricity used. Fully re-charging the battery using off-peak electricity at current prices will cost approximately £1.50. Using higher-rate daytime electricity, the cost will still be less than £4. Mini will install charging stations for the testers to use.
At the end of the six months Mini will invite 20 different test subjects to gather information about the cars.
All applicants to the research trial will have to meet certain criteria to be eligible to take part. Firstly, customers must reside in south east England, within a triangular geographical area joining Andover, Oxford and west London.
Maintenance, servicing and technical assistance will be provided by dedicated BMW Group UK technicians. These technicians will be supported by selected Mini dealers within the Mini E research area.
Oxford Brookes University’s Sustainable Vehicle Engineering Centre will manage the collation of qualitative and quantitative research throughout the UK project. This will include analysis of driver experiences with the Mini E, as well as reviewing the technical information provided by the data-logging units fitted to every Mini E.