Private drivers to get into electric Mini

BMW is looking for 20 people willing to lease a Mini E in phase two of its electric car consumer trials.

Participants must live in a triangular geographical area between Andover, Oxford and West London to qualify, and will need to find £330 per month to lease the car.

Phase one of BMW's research has been running since December 2009 and is due to end in June, but the test cars have so far been limited to companies and not private individuals.
There are several criteria that potential car-testers must fulfil, including having daily access to a private garage, car port or off-street parking so Southern Electric can install a charging point.

The new owners would also receive an adaptor to plug the car into the mains for occasional charges.

Although drivers would have to stump up the monthly fee, there would be no petrol or congestion charge costs, and the deal includes insurance. This has been part subsidised by the Government, and BMW says a car like the Mini E would normally cost around £550 a month to lease.

The two-seater cars – the back seat is taken up by the batteries – will be leased for six months in total and the test will be monitored and recorded by scientists from Oxford Brookes University. They will appear on the road between September 2010 and March 2011.

Potential applicants are invited to visit and fill in the form there. The Mini E has already proved it is no slouch - check out the video of it lapping the Nurburgring in nine minutes 51:

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