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His favourite pioneer is Leonardo da Vinci, but now Peter Trepp can consider himself a bona fide pioneer, as he has become the first of several hundred customers in the United States to take delivery of the MINI E – a fully electric, zero emissions vehicle—as part of a year-long field study.
Deliveries of the MINI E to other US customers will be completed by the end of June.
“Congratulations to Peter Trepp on being the first person in the United States to take delivery of the MINI E, I hope he enjoys this year-long adventure on which he is about to embark,” said Jim McDowell, Vice President of MINI USA.
“I want to thank him and the hundreds of other pioneering spirits participating in this program, as the knowledge gained from their involvement will play a vital role in helping to shape the development of new ideas, technologies and future forms of transportation.”
Trepp, a venture capitalist whose firm specializes in funding early-stage clean technology companies, is the first of several hundred eager participants selected by MINI to begin the field study, which will see 450 MINI Es deployed in the Los Angeles, New York and New Jersey metropolitan areas.
Additional vehicles will be tested in Berlin and Munich, Germany; and London, England.
The 450 U.S. vehicles will be leased to customers like Trepp, who applied online at MINIUSA.com to be part of the one-year field study.
As part of their participation in the field study, Trepp and the others selected will provide ongoing real world use feedback to MINI on their experiences with the zero-emission electric cars.
More than twice the number of people applied as there are cars available in the U.S.
The MINI E can travel around 240 kilometres on a single charge depending on driving style and conditions, while providing the agility and handling of a MINI Cooper.
It is powered by a 150 kilowatt electric motor. The energy supply comes from a high-performance rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
The vehicle, which debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2008, can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.5 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 152 km/h.
MINI will install a special wall box into each MINI E customer’s garage that can fully recharge a completely drained battery in just two-and-a-half hours.
The MINI E is the first product of BMW’s Project i, a program designed to research and develop transportation strategies and new types of vehicles specifically to meet the needs of the world’s growing mega-cities.
Trepp proved to be an ideal candidate to participate in the field study and has the pioneering spirit in his blood. His great grandfather, William Channel, invented many critical electrical and telephone components that are used today, including the power insulator, which can be found in the Smithsonian.
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