Guess which car billionaire investor Wilbur Ross has been driving lately.
If you think it's a Bentley, Aston Martin or Ferrari, think again. It's a Mini E electric car.
The Mini E is the first vehicle made by parent BMW AG's Munich-based Project i, which has been charged with developing alternative powertrains for urban use.
Ross, who owns U.S. interiors supplier International Automotive Components Group, has spent the last four months testing the car. He says the Mini E is "fun" but he doesn't like that the batteries take up so much space (The Mini's back seat was removed to make room for the battery pack.)
An even bigger problem he sees for electric cars in general is the shape and size of their charging connections. The Mini's connecter is unique, which is common for electric cars.
"If electrics are to become important, the charging interconnection must become standardized," Ross said at an industry event held around the Frankfurt auto show earlier this month. "Without standardization there will not be enough charging locations for all such vehicles."
That would be a major setback for a niche with great potential because as the 71-year-old said, “Green is cool.”