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Mini to launch electric trial in America

Date: 22 October 2008

Mini is showing off an electric car at the upcoming motor show in Los Angeles.

The car is identical to the standard Mini in looks, but replaces the two rear seats with a lithium-ion battery.

Mini has announced 500 versions of the car will be trialled in three American states over a 12-month period. The cars will be sent out on a year-long lease and then returned to the BMW group for comparative testing at the end.

Performance isn't compromised as the battery engine powers the Mini to 62mph in a brisk 8.5secs and a limited 95mph.

It will be charged by a wallbox that will be mounted in the owner's garage.

Full charge from empty is said to take two and a half hours and give the Mini a range of about 150 miles.