[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqDe94Y0Koo]YouTube - MINI Scooter E Concept[/ame]
German automaker BMW is building on the success of its iconic MINI Cooper automobile by introducing an electric scooter that borrows much of the style cues and uses an iPhone as the ignition key. The MINI Scooter E is only a concept but could be available as soon as 2012. The electric scooter has a range of 30 miles and a total charging time of around 4 to 5 hours.
BMW, which became the first car manufacturer to deploy more that 500 electric vehicles with the MINI E, is obviously targeting the scooter prototype at young urban professionals who have green sensibilities. The Mine E Scooter's lithium-ion battery pack can be recharged from any power outlet with the retractable five-meter-long cable, so its range can be extended by plugging it in whenever it's parked for extended periods. MINI projects that it will cost about 1p (a penny and a half US) per mile to run, based on energy costs in the UK. The running costs would be lower in the US, if the scooter ever comes here.
The scooter is headed for the upscale market, with expected prices ranging from £4000 to £5000 ($6285 to $ 7857 US) but it will have unique features, such as the ability to use your iPhone as the ignition key. The iPhone integrates with the navigation system, and will also function as a music player and allow you to make and receive calls via a Bluetooth headset. The navigation app gives you the location of other MINI Scooter E riders are on the map, and will automatically flash the headlight when you pass another scooter on the road. No. Really.
Smart is also working on an electric scooter with iPhone integration. The energy efficient escooter has an LED headlight and taillight, and built-in solar cells, which help charge the batteries when the scooter is in motion, and full LED lighting. The scooter uses the iPhone as its instrument display, with satellite navigation enabled via the an app that interacts with the scooter's GPS hardware. The iPhone can also be used to turn on the handlebar warmers before you leave the house, and can contact the scooter's GPS to help you recover it if it's stolen, or if you forgot where you parked it.