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AN ELECTRIC MINI? READ MORE: will build 500 copies of its first all-electric vehicle, the Mini E, as part of a pilot project aimed at private and corporate customers in California, New York and New Jersey. The Mini E will be formally unveiled next month at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show.The Mini E features a lithium-ion battery pack and a 201-horsepower electric motor driving the front wheels through a single-stage helical gearbox. BMW says the motor will produce peak torque of 162 pound-feet and will enable the car to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in less than 8.5 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 95 mph, and the car can travel up to 150 miles on a single charge.BMW converted the standard Mini into a two-seater to accommodate the battery pack, which can be recharged from any standard power outlet. BMW also will provide owners with a special "wallbox" charging unit that will enable the batteries to fully charge in 2.5 hours.The Mini E is being assembled through the end of this year at the brand's factory in Oxford, England, with the driveline and batteries installed in Munich.BMW plans to put cars into the hands of 500 customers on a one-year lease with an extension option. The monthly payments cover all maintenance and other technical service. At the end of the lease, all the cars will be returned to BMW's engineering fleet for testing and evaluation.All of the pilot cars are painted metallic dark silver, with a pure silver roof. In addition, the cars all sport a serial number on their front fenders, as well as a stylized yellow logo on the roof, the charger port lid and other locations.Inside, a central gauge and battery-level indicator replace the standard tachometer. Seats are trimmed in yellow to match the car's "E" logo.