Trials of the all-electric Mini E have started in Oxford after 40 members of the public received the keys to their trial cars.
The trial is the first of two that will run back to back in Oxford over the next year. BMW will be monitoring the psychological, social and technical aspects of living with an electric car during the tests.
The normal lease cost for a Mini E would be £550 per month, but this has come down to £330 with a national government subsidy.
“This is a historic day for Mini and for the BMW Group” said BMW’s UK managing director Tim Abbott in the handover ceremony. “It is fitting that the brand with its inspiration in the oil crisis of the 1950s is again at the forefront of energy efficiency with a car that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.”
BMW is partnering Scottish and Southern Energy in the trial. Part of its brief is to see what burden charging electric cars has on the local electricity network.
The South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council are also partnering BMW in the scheme, as the area aims to become a leader in developing electric cars, securing more local jobs in the process.