We seem to repeat ourselves everyweek in bemoaning the need to switch to renewable energy, but truly, with oil prices this high, every car manufacturer is looking to develop alternatives based on their existing fleet. Obviously, the smaller and more fuel efficient the vehicle, the easier it is to convert to electric — which is why we were not surprised to hear that BMW is releasing its fabulous MINI Cooper in an all electric version in summer 2009!

Sadly, it seems that these awesome Electric Minis will only be released only in limited numbers. BMW is developing these to meet California’s strict emissions regulations, which require that automakers build and release a set number of zero emission vehicles in the state.

The electric Minis will be easily identifiable, as they will have a silver body and a yellow roof. Tentatively, it appears that only 500 of them will be manufactured, though, we reckon that once BMW sees the response to the vehicle, that they will see themselves with a likely best seller in their hands.

+ Electric Mini will be in US customer hands in summer 2009
+ BMW builds electric Mini for California (free registration required)