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Southampton Town Takes MINIs For A Test Drive

Originally Posted: July 02, 2009

Kelly Carroll

  |   4 Comments · Print Article

The town of Southampton will be leasing five electric MINI Coopers this summer as part of its green initiative. Photos by Kelly Carroll

Southampton - Southampton Town is going "green" once again. In partnership with MINI of the Hamptons, the Town is now able to lease the all new electric MINI Cooper, an initiative that looks toward "downsizing" vehicle use within the municipality and fostering a move from the oversized SUV's currently operated by town employees to the smaller, more environmentally friendly vehicle.

"Let's get on board with what these cars can do," Councilwoman Anna Throne-Holst said.

"Let's get everyone together," Southampton Town Councilwoman Anna Throne-Holst posed Thursday, June 25, at an informational meeting focused on educating department heads on this new initiative. "Let's get on board with what these cars can do."

Throne-Holst, long a proponent of sustainability, was contacted earlier this year to see if she would be interested in participating in an initiative set up to get town employees on board with using the electric vehicle. Last year, Throne-Holst spearheaded the town's campaign to create and implement "green" building codes, and is also liaison to the town's Sustainable Southampton Committee.

The electric MINI Cooper was introduced in October, with a limited release this year. Getting a chance to use the vehicle before almost anyone, the town of Southampton will be able to lease five electric MINIs for $10 a month per vehicle for one year. At the information session, Throne-Holst said that those willing to participate in the lease will be able to use the vehicles for their everyday job-related activities. With only five MINIs however, the departments will have to find a way to share with each other, as well as a way to monitor how the vehicle is or is not meeting their needs.

"The whole idea of this is participating on tracking it," the councilwoman told the department heads. "We want to look at it comprehensively."

Town Engineer George Mootoo goes for a test drive.

According to Torr Marro, general sales manager for MINI of the Hamptons, the electric MINI has 21 horsepower and can drive up to 95 mph. Charging the vehicle could take anywhere from 2.5 to 4 hours, and the MINI is set to get approximately 100 to 120 miles per charge. Marro added that, in his estimation, the vehicles should be "40 to 50 percent less expensive to drive."

John Valente, from the Town Accessor's Office, said using the MINI would not only be friendlier for the environment, but would cut down on expenses in his department.

"We would be reducing our carbon foot print and costs," he said.

After the information session, department heads were given the chance to test drive the MINI, and a few were biting at the bit to get in. Added Throne-Holst, having driven to the meeting in one of the MINIs, "They're really fun to drive. They're cute."




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Guest (bailey) from Southampton says::
Instead of spending more money on things that are not necessary, why aren't these employees using their own vehicles to get to work. Imagine the money that the town would save on vehicles, maintenance, gas, insurance, registrations etc. I don't understand why it is necessary for so many town employees to have cars to go back and forth to work, especially when most of these employees are not local. What a saving it would be.
Jul 8, 2009 7:09 pm

Guest (dan) from southampton says::
How can you turn reducing pollution, not buying gas, and saving the town money into a bad thing?
Jul 7, 2009 9:52 am

Guest (jim ) from southampton says::
Typical idiots. Missing millions and they are worried about global warming. NEWS ALERT We just had 4th coolest June in history.
Jul 6, 2009 10:15 pm

Guest (mini pooper) from southampton says::
these cars are junk rated highest in break downs of all the cars on the road. at least they are leasing them so they do not own to costly to repair,and they would be in the shop more than being used.
Jul 5, 2009 1:07 pm

 

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