The College Driver It’s Electric! The MINI E

10 Июн 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи The College Driver It’s Electric! The MINI E отключены
Mini E Electric Cars

It’s Electric! The MINI E

For those of you who liked spy photos of the electric MINI a couple weeks back. we have a treat for you. BMW is officially announcing that they will produce a fleet of 500 all-electric MINI’s for lease in the US. The MINI will be made available for lease in California, New York, and New Jersey.

BMW is claiming that they are offering these vehicles to test ways to reduce energy consumption and emissions in road traffic. These test vehicles will be leased to private citizens and commercial operations to see if there are any overlooked problems or concerns that need to be mitigated before the vehicles enter mass production.

The electric vehicle, now called the MINI E, is powered by a 204 hp (150 kW) motor. Capable of producing 162 lb-ft of torque (220 Nm), the motor will draw energy from a rechargeable 380 volt lithium-ion battery. The MINI E will have front wheel drive and have a range capable of 150 miles (240 km) on a single charge (which is more than enough range for most of Americans).

The single-stage helical gearbox will be capable of sending the MINI E from 0 to 62 mph in 8.5 seconds. Speed will be electronically limited to 95 mph, which means that no one should really have a problem with how fast it goes. This MINI will be a strict two-seater, as the lithium-ion battery has taken up the back seat.

The E can be recharged from any standard wall outlet but because charge times can vary, MINI has included a special wallbox” that can recharge the vehicle in two-and-a-half hours.

MINI is also promising that this car will handle like it’s MINI brethren, providing a sporty ride and 50/50 weight distribution. The car, which weighs 3,230 lbs, has had its suspension tuned for that classic kart handling. The car also will feature Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPS).

For city driving, the E will feature regenerative braking, allowing for about 75 percent of deceleration to be done without the brakes, and extending city range by nearly 20 percent.

What we like most about this electric MINI is that the vehicle stays close to its MINI heritage, in terms of size, handling, and overall aesthetics. When you look at this car you see a MINI, not some environmental statement to improve a company’s image. BMW has done what most car companies have refused to do, which is produce a car first and make a statement later. Unlike GM, who has now released two concept Volts that you still can’t buy for another few years, BMW took a more conservative and realistic approach by deciding to unveil a production version based off something that already exists.

And MINI has done a good job; with smooth flowing lines and power plug decals abound, this car is simply beautiful. On the inside, the E features a nice yellow and black colour scheme, which can be seen all over, from the black face instruments with yellow numbers to the black leather seats with yellow stitching. A couple other nice details are the polished metal gas accelerator and brake pedals and the yellow accents on the door.

MINI also placed the most important gage, the charge indicator, on the steering column for easy monitoring.

Mini E Electric Cars

For those of you wanting to lease one of the vehicles, here are a few things to consider. First, the lease will be offered as a one-year lease with an extension option. Your monthly payments will cover anything that breaks or otherwise goes wrong technically with the vehicle. Again, these vehicles are test vehicles, which means that you cannot buy them at the end of the lease.

BMW plans to evaluate the vehicles comparatively against one another (so no protesting against your local MINI or BMW dealer when the time comes to take these cars back). Because of the wallbox charging station, the vehicles will only be offered to MINI customers with lockable garages. In the event something needs to be fixed or adjusted, only qualified BMW/MINI personnel can perform work on these vehicles.

Those of you of you concerned about the vehicle’s overall safety, should also know that these vehicles have passed numerous crash tests, and the lithium-ion battery wasn’t damaged in any of the tests.

As we said, last week, the vehicles will be assembled in Oxford then shipped to Munich where the electric motor, battery units, transmission and other electronics will be installed. Production of these vehicles has already commenced and will continue through the end of 2008. The vehicle will be unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 19th and 20th, 2008.

No word yet on the how much the lease will cost or if these vehicles will eventually be available in Europe.

TheCD’s take: A very good start for MINI and the BMW group. TheCD will be applying for one of these leases, so we’ll keep you up to date.

Mini E Electric Cars
Mini E Electric Cars
Mini E Electric Cars
Mini E Electric Cars
Mini E Electric Cars
Mini E Electric Cars

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