The MINI Cooper may look like a windup car, but now you can get one that runs on batteries.
The MINI E is an all-electric version of the subcompact that can travel up to 156 miles on a charge under ideal conditions, but can only be counted on for about 100 in the real world. That’s important, because this isn’t some pie-in-the-sky prototype, but a car you can actually go out and lease, with a few caveats.
First, you need a garage. One that has good wiring. If it doesn’t, you need to pay for the upgrade so MINI can install a quick charging device in said garage. All of these things must be located in California, New York or New Jersey and you have to have a clean driving license for the past 5 years.
You’ll also need to be outgoing, because you are expected to share your experiences with the car with the good people from MINI. There are a couple of other items and an online application process that takes about an hour to complete.
When you are finished, if MINI thinks you are qualified to posses one of the vehicles, they will lease you one for $850 a month for one year, at which time you have to give it back whether you want to or not. Sounds more like a dating service than a car company.
Gary Gastelu is FoxNews.com's Automotive Editor.