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4.10.10 is going all mod with the launch today of a 'green' electric scooter that promises 1p a mile motoring.
Model Agyness Deyn unveiled the hi-tech but retro-looking zero-emissions two-wheeler in London yesterday, before it goes on display at next week's Paris Motor Show.
Adorned with big side mirrors and lashings of chrome, it rekindled memories of the heyday of the scooter during  the 1960s when hundreds of Parka-wearing Mods would ride their scooters to Brighton.
It also comes 51 years after the iconic British car-maker revolutionised motoring with the original 10ft square box car designed by Sir Alec Issigonis.
The new prototype MINI Scooter-E is powered by a lithium-ion battery linked to an electric motor which drives the 11-inch rear wheel.
Aimed primarily at younger drivers for urban use, the MINI electric scooter expected to  produce 1p a mile motoring, with a range of about 30 miles and a top speed restricted to about 50 mph.
It can be charged directly from the household mains thanks to a plug and five yards of spring-loaded retractable cable cunningly stored beneath the driver and passenger seat. Each full re-charge is expected to take around four hours.
However a spokesman pointed out:'Brief stops can be used to top up the battery. Stop-offs for shopping or visiting a cafe can be used for hassle-free battery recharging.'
A battery charge indicator tells the rider how much charge is left - and how far it will take them.
The company will judge reaction to the prototype at the Paris Motor Show from next week with a view to it going on sale within two years - just in time for the London Olympics which parent company BMW is sponsoring as the main provider of transport to athletes, officials and other VIPs.
Although some basic electric scooters currently on the market  can cost from around £1,500, the hi-tech, hi-spec MINI Scooter is expected to be between  £4,000 and £5,000.
A MINI spokesman said:''The MINI Scooter E is powered is powered by an electric motor integrated in the rear wheel.
'The motor's lithium ion battery can be recharged at any conventional power socket using the on-board charging cable.'
The MINI Scooter also has another hi-tech touch. A snap-in adaptor means the  driver can insert his or her smart-phone into the front console as a secure 'key' to start it.
The screen of the  phone then doubles as sat-nav, music player or blue-tooth  telephone.
A special crash helmet with an integrated microphone and headphones will allow the rider - via a wireless Bluetooth connection - to use the phone or access their music while riding.
The MINI scooter follows the firm's launch last year of its electric MINI-e car which is currently being leased to customers around the UK.
German car giant BMW began production of the new generation MINI in 2001 and since then has sold more than 1.7million of the  Oxford-built cars.
There has been a growing tend for mainstream motor manufacturers to have in their range a low or zero-emitting vehicle. This is partly to help them conform to tough new EU limits on emissions.
Mercedes-Benz's Smart is also showcasing an electric Smart scooter at the Paris show. Aston Martin has created the tiny 'Cygnet', which customers of its larger cars will be able to buy as an add-on.
Craig Carey-Clinch of the Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCIA) said there had been a boom in demand for scooters in recent years - with sales up around a quarter in the last decade.
About 20,000 a year are now sold. There has been a boom in scooter sales with people using them in town instead of cars. Electric scooters are starting to make a mark, with prices ranging from about £1,500 for something basic up to around £5,000 for a top end electric bike.'

MINI Scooter-E: The stats

Length: 6ft 6 ins   
Height:  4ft 3ins
Width:   2ft 11ins
Weight:  85kg
Price:  £4,000 to £5,000 estimated
London. Model Agyness Deyn

On sale: predicted 2012 - in time for parent company BMW's sponsorship of all official transport for London Olympics

Power: Electric via lithium ion battery powering rear-wheel electric motor
Running costs: 1p a mile to run, average 12p a day
Range: around 30miles
Top speed: limited to 50mph
Charging: 5 metre retractable cable and domestic plug charges scooter from the household mains.
Full charge: 4 to 5 hours. But can be 'topped' up en route.


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