Page last updated at 18:40 GMT, Monday, 27 October 2008

Limited edition Mini is electric

an electric mini
The new electric Minis are silver and have a yellow plug logo

BMW has announced a limited number of electrically-powered minis are being built in Oxford.

The new model is called the Mini E and will be a two-seater because the rear-seat space is needed for the battery.

BMW's Cowley plant will manufacture 500 of the new cars on the standard production line by the end of the year.

The electric motor, battery unit, performance electronics and transmission will then be added at the company's Munich factory.

BMW said the electric car would go from 0 to 62mph (100kph) in 8.5 seconds and that it would have a top speed electronically-limited to 95mph (153kph).

Its lithium-ion battery is designed to be plugged into all standard power outlets.

The model has already gone through the major phases of product development and passed numerous crash tests.

The limited edition cars will only be available to private and corporate customers in the United States on a one-year lease.

At the end of the lease they will be returned to BMW to be subjected to comparative tests.

The Mini E will be unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.

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