Special Coverage

Greater L.A. Auto Show

LOS ANGELES – BMW AG unveils its pure-electric Mini Cooper at the auto show here powered by a lithium-ion battery pack that allows the car to drive up to 156 miles (250 km) on one charge.

The 150-kW (204-hp) electric motor is coupled to a single-stage helical gearbox. The Mini E can accelerate to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 8.5 seconds and is capable of reaching a top speed of 95 mph (152 km/h). The batteries can be fully recharged in as little as two hours.

The Li-ion power pack weighs 573 lbs. (260 kg) and transfers energy to the electric motor as DC current at 380 volts. It is comprised of 5,088 cells grouped in 48 modules. A special wall-mounted charging station is required to recharge the car.

A temperature-controlled fan ensures a consistent operating temperature.

The car weighs a total of 3,230 lbs. (1,465 kg), compared with a standard ’08 Mini Cooper that tips the scales at 2,451 lbs. (1112 kg).

BMW says a total of 500 Mini Es will be manufactured and then leased to private and corporate consumers under a special pilot program. Leases will be for one year, with an extension option.

Specialized dealers in California, New York and New Jersey will offer the cars to local consumers. The plan envisions up to 280 Mini Es being leased in California and 200 each in New York and New Jersey.

dwinter@wardsauto.com