BMW stole a march on some more ballyhooed electric-car programs by releasing an electric version of its Mini at the end of 2008. Where most of its competitors are engineering electric cars from scratch, the German automaker was able to adapt an existing electric drive system from California’s AC Propulsion to fit the Mini’s chassis. Five hundred of the cars are available for lease for a year, during which BMW will collect data about their use in preparation for a larger rollout.
Courtesy of BMW
Product: Mini E
Cost: $850 a month for a one-year lease, insurance included
Other products in this section:
California is throttling back record levels of solar—and that’s bad news for climate goals
Without big changes, the oversupply of renewables will stall efforts to overhaul the power sector.
The scientist still fighting for the clean fuel the world forgot
A decade of investment in advanced biofuels led nowhere, but Jay Keasling remains undaunted.
California’s rooftop solar rule is a pricey path to emissions reductions
A solar panel on every house might sound good, but it isn’t smart climate policy.