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The all-electric MINI E

Say good-bye to your rear seats and cargo space.
BMW's MINI E ditches its gasoline engine for an electric motor and batteries

In July, DailyTech first brought you news of BMW's plans to offer an all-electric MINI to California. Sources close to the project claimed that the MINIs would be partially assembled in England and then shipped to Germany where their batteries and electric motor would be installed during final assembly.

Well, the rumors were true and BMW officially announced the all-electric MINI E. The MINI E uses a 204 HP (150 kW) electric motor which is paired to a single-stage helical gearbox to drive the front wheels. The 35 kWh lithium-ion battery pack is comprised of 5,088 cells which are mounted in the cargo area of the vehicle.

The placement of the batteries, however, results in a serious erosion of the Mini's already limited cargo carrying abilities and necessitates the removal of the rear seats. The massive battery pack also adds significant weight to the petite MINI's chassis. A MINI with a traditional internal combustion engine weighs just 2,546 lbs in base form. The MINI E boosts that figure to a portly (for its size) 3,230 lbs.

BMW says that the MINI E can travel 150 miles on a single charge which is more than triple what the Chevrolet Volt can manage with its onboard lithium-ion battery pack. The Volt, however, still has a longer overall range since its onboard gasoline engine generator can recharge the battery pack once they reach critical levels.

Once the MINI E's battery has reached critical level, it can be charged at home using a standard wall outlet. The battery pack can be charged in just 2.5 hours when using a special charger that can be installed in the driver's garage.

When it comes to performance, BMW claims that the MINI E can accelerate from 0-60 in 8.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 95 MPH.

BMW will make available 500 MINI Es to California residents -- pricing has not yet been announced.

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Charging Speed
By MrPickins on 10/19/2008 11:26:29 AM , Rating: 2
I'm curious as to how they can charge a 35kWh battery pack in 2.5 hrs from a standard outlet.

I'm no expert on LiIon batteries, but even if they were recharged at 25% capacity that would be ~26 kWh in 2.5 hrs, or ~10.5 kW continuous. This is over 5 times the power (15 amps at 120v) the circuits in my house provide.

Can someone show me where my reasoning is wrong?

RE: Charging Speed
By ChronoReverse on 10/19/2008 11:42:44 AM , Rating: 2
Hmm, maybe it's charged at 25% only up to 75% (similar to the Prius) so only about 17.5kWh. And then the charging source is a plug like the one used by electric ranges so 240V at 50A which is 12kW so that's sufficient. A house gets up 200A anyway.

RE: Charging Speed
By MrPickins on 10/19/2008 12:08:56 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, a 240v feed would be suitable for the purpose, but the wording seems to me to be referring to a standard 110v outlet:

Once the MINI E's battery has reached critical level, it can be charged at home using a special charger that plugs into a standard wall outlet . The battery pack can be charged in just 2.5 hours.

Hard to tell with the ambiguous wording, but I'm sure further details will clear things up soon.

RE: Charging Speed
By masher2 on 10/19/2008 12:21:06 PM , Rating: 3
The 2.5 hour figure is using the installed high-current charging station. If plugged into a standard wall outlet, it takes twice as long to charge.

RE: Charging Speed
By croc on 10/19/2008 5:34:55 PM , Rating: 1
Link please.

RE: Charging Speed
By codeThug on 10/19/08, Rating: -1
RE: Charging Speed
By croc on 10/19/2008 7:23:25 PM , Rating: 2
Simple request, said 'please'. Who died and left you the PC hall monitor, asshole? That's impolite, but you either are too ignorant to read, or too arrogant to care.

RE: Charging Speed
By codeThug on 10/19/08, Rating: -1
RE: Charging Speed
By masher2 on 10/19/2008 8:54:30 PM , Rating: 2
It's in the link from the source article.

RE: Charging Speed
By croc on 10/20/2008 2:19:48 AM , Rating: 1
There is nothing about charging times in that link, nor about the circuit required to install this charger.

Standard US house circuit is 15A, maybe 20A... the KWH available vs. the supposed KWH for a full charge does not add up to 2.5 hours for a full charge. You seemed to indicate some deeper knowledge of this process, so I supposed that you might have a link as to where you you learned this.

RE: Charging Speed
By HandiCapable on 10/20/2008 9:41:39 AM , Rating: 2
From the source article:

"MINI will be supplying a high current charging station with the cars that can be installed in the driver's garage to facilitate quicker charges, providing a full charge in 2.5 hours."

RE: Charging Speed
By croc on 10/20/2008 4:33:56 PM , Rating: 2
From the blog:

A full recharge draws a maximum of 28 kilowatt hours of electricity from the grid.

Now, my maths give me 11.2 KWH from the circuit. I take that a bit further to see how many amps @ 120 volts, and it looks to me as if it will require a dedicated 100A cuircuit.. Not exactly what every garage's wall socket provides.

Mini AUS can't provide any more information as this appears to be confidential information outside of the test areas... Mini USA either doesn't know ar isn't talking (to me).

Maybe someone in SOCAL can apply for the lease and give us more information...

RE: Charging Speed
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 10/20/2008 8:00:42 AM , Rating: 2
Perhaps the special charging unit is storing power all the time and it dumps it into the battery pack when needed. 21.5 hours drawing house current, then a 2.5 hour dump into the battery?

RE: Charging Speed
By MrPickins on 10/20/2008 11:16:38 AM , Rating: 2
What do you suppose it's storing the energy in, another set of batteries? I don't even think superconductors would work...

RE: Charging Speed
By MrPickins on 10/20/2008 11:17:28 AM , Rating: 2
'superconductors' should read 'supercapacitors'

RE: Charging Speed
By psychobriggsy on 10/19/2008 12:44:54 PM , Rating: 2
From the linked article: "MINI will be supplying a high current charging station with the cars that can be installed in the driver's garage to facilitate quicker charges, providing a full charge in 2.5 hours."

I.e,. this charging station presumably either requires professional installation and runs at a higher voltage or amperage off of mains electricity, or it charges itself up slowly and discharges quickly into the Mini.

Such a car would be great for a city, except that many city houses don't have garages, so you can't install the charging station (or easily charge in any manner).

RE: Charging Speed
By MrPickins on 10/19/08, Rating: -1
RE: Charging Speed
By MrPickins on 10/20/2008 5:40:11 PM , Rating: 2
Rated down for talking smack to myself???

RE: Charging Speed
By quiksilvr on 10/19/2008 3:19:21 PM , Rating: 2
I'm assuming the charging station will have some portable elements that allows you to move from your room of the apartment of your house to your car for that extra boost. But really, for such a slow electric car, I'm shocked that it doesn't even have the same range as the Tesla and that car is a beast.

RE: Charging Speed
By Spuke on 10/19/2008 7:59:25 PM , Rating: 2
I'm shocked that it doesn't even have the same range as the Tesla and that car is a beast.
The Tesla weighs 600 lbs less.

RE: Charging Speed
By PrinceGaz on 10/19/2008 9:38:07 PM , Rating: 4
The top speed of 95mph is irrelevant to anyone who isn't going to take it to race on a track (unless they live in Germany or some other country where some roads have no speed-limit).

The 0-60mph of 8.5 secs is what really matters, and that isn't a bad time for a small car. It's as good as the 120bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine model, anyway. Who cares that it can't manage to do a ton, when the highest speed-limit in most countries is at most 80mph? Unless you do live in Germany and want to blast down the Autobahns, I'd say a top-speed of 95 is more than adequate.

RE: Charging Speed
By quiksilvr on 10/19/2008 10:09:04 PM , Rating: 2
What does that have anything to do with what I just said? If the Tesla is faster, lighter, have a 250 mile range and seats 2, why is the Cooper heavier, slower and has a shorter range?

RE: Charging Speed
By djc208 on 10/20/2008 6:17:58 AM , Rating: 2
The Tesla is based on a much lighter base vehicle than the Mini, both in design and in features. The Lotus underpinnings have always been light, but usually at the expense of comfort and safety features. The Lotus, and I imagine the Tesla too, are not considered standard production vehicles so many of the federal safety requirements don't apply.

Besides, a base mini will run you around $25~30K while a base Lotus is at least twice that. You're paying for the high-tech/low weight design. Base engines aren't that different in size and output.

RE: Charging Speed
By quiksilvr on 10/20/2008 12:14:15 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know, I just figured that since the engine isn't that powerful the range will at least be adequate. 150 miles just sounds really low (and a 3200 pound Mini cooper just sounds ridiculous).

RE: Charging Speed
By PrinceGaz on 10/19/2008 9:42:16 PM , Rating: 2
The likely reason it doesn't have the same range as the Tesla, is that it doesn't have the same price-tag as it :p

RE: Charging Speed
By Diesel Donkey on 10/20/2008 1:34:27 AM , Rating: 2
pricing has not yet been announced

How can you be so sure?

RE: Charging Speed
By 4wardtristan on 10/19/2008 8:15:09 PM , Rating: 2
...when using a special charger that can be installed in the driver's garage ....

RE: Charging Speed
By MrPickins on 10/19/2008 8:47:44 PM , Rating: 2
That was not originally in the article, but thanks...

RE: Charging Speed
By randyc on 10/20/2008 12:23:11 PM , Rating: 2
Fast charging will probably require special wiring, like for this PowerStar AE-125 electric tankless water heater.
Requires 240V Hard Wiring and 120 Amps
This Model Requires 3 Separate 40 Amp 2-Pole Circuit Breakers and Six #8 Awg Wires + Ground (Min. 200 Amp Breaker Panel)

RE: Charging Speed
By Spuke on 10/20/2008 2:32:41 PM , Rating: 2
240V installation costs can be anywhere from $100 to $1000 depending on complexity and location. And that doesn't include installing the Mini's home kit. And if you don't have enough power to add a 240V circuit to your property, expect to add a few thousand more on that. I can see why they're doing it out here. They're probably hoping for some rich celeb's to buy these.

Willful Ignorance.
By Captain Orgazmo on 10/19/2008 3:34:31 PM , Rating: 1
The acceptance of battery powered electric cars over gasoline/diesel versions for "environmental" reasons says a lot about society. If "Electric Car" was replaced with the more accurate description, "Coal/Uranium Powered Car", how many "green" types would want one to show off to their aging hippie friends. I'm all for efficiency and conservation of limited resources, but this trend of increasing electric car popularity simply changes the location where power is generated from your engine to a power plant.

RE: Willful Ignorance.
By FishTankX on 10/19/2008 9:18:22 PM , Rating: 2
That's not necessarily true. Power stations are significantly more efficent than ICE's when it comes to generating power.
That, and not everyone does it for enviornmental reasons. I see a strong argument for doing it to reduce american reliance on foreign imports. The more we keep in our own economy the better it is for our trade deficit. And the better our standing is if political volatility disrupts oil supplies round the world.

If we can get our oil consumption down to 'Just our own' (If i'm not mistaken America drills 60% of it's own oil)that would surely be the holy grail. However, every little bit helps.

RE: Willful Ignorance.
By Captain Orgazmo on 10/20/2008 2:20:02 AM , Rating: 2
Power stations may be efficient, but transmission over power lines negates that a fair bit. Regardless, the main problem with moving the power source from your car to a power plant, is that there are barely enough power plants for current electricity demands. Basically my point is that producing electric cars before coming up with a realistic way of making enough electricity for them (besides building more coal and nuclear plants) is putting the cart before the horse.

RE: Willful Ignorance.
By howarchaic on 10/20/2008 3:55:47 AM , Rating: 1
Transmission and distribution losses in the USA were estimated at 7.2% in 1995

That was 13 years ago. Aging lines are constantly replaced with less resistive and have lower inductance when they break etc. So although that would only increase it slightly, it still would increase efficiency.

Just playing devil's advocate.

My biggest problem with electric cars and hybrids are how toxic they are. The battery WILL go out, and when it does, what do you do with it. Lithium is highly toxic. So is Nickle. Nickle is at least pretty recyclable, but still, if you claim you are helping the environment, think again.

Same thing with vegetarians. All you are doing is just shifting one environmental clusterfuck to a slightly different clusterfuck.

RE: Willful Ignorance.
By howarchaic on 10/20/2008 3:57:39 AM , Rating: 2
I meant to say when they break, they are replaced with newer lines that have lower inducatance and are less resistive to current.

My bad.

RE: Willful Ignorance.
By ayat101 on 10/20/2008 7:29:32 AM , Rating: 2
Nonsense. Running an electric car releases less carbon per unit distance than running a petrol/diesel car. This arises because electric power stations are more efficient at producing usable energy than combustion engines. This is true even if you are talking about coal fired power stations, and include charging, transmission, etc, losses.

RE: Willful Ignorance.
By Captain Orgazmo on 10/20/2008 6:04:01 PM , Rating: 2
Carbon is not the issue. Energy is the issue. If you had any knowledge of the geological history of this planet, and could actually think for yourself, you would have already known this.

Every bit of C02 released by mankind used to be in the atmosphere or ocean at one point. Drive to the Rocky Mountains. The miles thick slabs of limestone (carbonate) there were laid down by coral reefs bigger than you can imagine. Those reefs permanently converted huge amounts of CO2 into O2 and carbonate. Current atmospheric CO2 levels are the lowest ever (10 times lower than when dinosaurs were around; 1000 times lower than when life first appeared). Sea levels fluctuate by hundreds of meters over only every few tens of thousands of years (or every 0.001% of Earth history).

I'm sure none of this will sink into the heads of those who consider C02 to be "pollution" (I guess water and sunlight are pollution too?), and think Al Gore is the new Jesus/L.Ron/Zeus.

RE: Willful Ignorance.
By Major HooHaa on 10/26/2008 11:48:26 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, huge amounts of carbon is locked up in the rocks (e.g. coal and oil, which is ancient fossilised forests and stuff) we dig up that carbon, burn it and release it back into the atmosphere. There by increasing the CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

The thing is that we must have released many millions of tons of CO2 back into the atmosphere since the beginning of the industrial revolution. At the same time we have been poisoning the planet and reducing the amount of vegetation on the planet, which draws in carbon dioxide and releases oxygen back into the atmosphere.

So we have been tipping the balance, altering habitats worldwide and generally making a mess of the planet that is basically our life support system. We have done all this for short-term gain.

There have been mass extinctions before in Earths history. But will the fossil records for this time-period show a sudden and massive drop in bio-diversity and a large sweeping disappearance of species worldwide?

RE: Willful Ignorance.
By puckalicious on 10/20/2008 8:08:49 AM , Rating: 2
Nonsense. American oil reserves account for 3% of the world supply, while we consume 25% of the world supply. So your 60% figure is pure hogwash.

Even if we assume all of that 3% is currently flowing (it is not) and it is all used only in America (it is not) then we would be able to supply a whopping 12% of our own oil needs. I'm sure my figures are not exact but are close enough for the sake of pointing out the error of your claim.

We have too little and we consume far too much, so we must immediately find alternatives to using oil for energy. And do better at energy conservation.

RE: Willful Ignorance.
By cheetah2k on 10/19/2008 10:11:14 PM , Rating: 2
You could say that Electric cars are representative of a "false economy", especially in a country such as Australia where all of our electricity is generated by fossil fuels (coal & gas).

However, if I had the opportunity to be able to take a jog thru the city following the main roads (like I do 3 times a week) and not have exhaust fumes from cars sitting in traffic fill up my lungs, I'd happily trade that for exhaust free electric cars any day.

RE: Willful Ignorance.
By Donkeyshins on 10/20/2008 10:41:57 AM , Rating: 2
That's one thing I don't understand - why on earth doesn't Australia invest in solar and wind farms? You have more than enough sun down there and I'm sure there's wind to go along with it...

RE: Willful Ignorance.
By jimbojimbo on 10/20/2008 3:04:43 PM , Rating: 2
Don't we have this same discussion about every other day on DT? Same arguments over and over.

How much will the power cost?
By guntherbob on 10/19/2008 3:16:43 PM , Rating: 2
So an average of 12,000 miles a year divided by 150 miles a charge gives you 80 charges times 35 kwh per charge uses 2,800 kwh per year at an average cost of about 15 cents per kwh that gives you about $420 a year power cost or about $35 a month so not bad.

RE: How much will the power cost?
By joex444 on 10/19/2008 5:06:50 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, but that's best case scenario. If the charging isn't 100% efficient, but say, 80% efficient then you need to use 25% more energy (5/4) so it would cost $525.

But, consider this. Right now, gas is around $3.34 in CA where this Mini would be sold. So, even with the 80% efficient charging, that would be the same as buying 157 gallons of gas. And you get 12,000 miles from it. Thats 76 mpg. With 100% efficient you get 95mpg. Pretty good, but this is totally dependent on the price of gas. If price of gas plummets, so does the "mpg" equivelancy. In MA, where I am, gas is $2.61, so that turns out to 75mpg max, 60 with 80% efficient charges.

Out of curiosity, anyone know if these batteries self-discharge like nimh? I go about 60 miles a week, wondering if people would lose some of their range by not using it quickly enough. That would skew the price to charge it.

RE: How much will the power cost?
By FITCamaro on 10/19/2008 6:06:40 PM , Rating: 2
I'm in SC and gas is $2.70-2.75 at the moment. Loving it while it lasts. I give it till Christmas.

RE: How much will the power cost?
By masher2 on 10/19/08, Rating: 0
RE: How much will the power cost?
By Noya on 10/19/2008 9:43:37 PM , Rating: 2
Because the economy hasn't bottomed out yet.

RE: How much will the power cost?
By Lord 666 on 10/20/2008 6:57:58 AM , Rating: 3
With a colder than normal fall quickly bringing heating season and a pending output decrease of 2 million barrels a day, it should stay about the same or slightly increase.. So says my crystal ball

RE: How much will the power cost?
By NainoKami on 10/20/2008 6:47:05 AM , Rating: 2
Lithium type batteries hold their charge pretty damn well... NiMh/NiCd lose their charge very quickly compared to Li-Ion or LiPo...

By FangedRabbit on 10/20/2008 10:09:01 AM , Rating: 2
I drive about 250 miles per week on average. Even at twice that price, it would cut my energy costs in half. Lets just hope they branch out sooner than later.

Metric system please
By kontorotsui on 10/19/2008 5:05:58 PM , Rating: 5
With all due respect to the THREE coutries in the World that still use the Imperial units like miles and lbs, a scientific oriented DailyTech should always use (and convert when needed) the metric system.
I was shocked to find out that only 3 countries in the World are not using yet the metric system: , Myanmar, Liberia and the United States!

RE: Metric system please
By Aquila76 on 10/19/2008 5:30:25 PM , Rating: 4
Well, if the economy keeps on its current track all three of us will be 3rd World countries. Yay money!

Oh, and I concur. We need to step up to the 1960's over here.

RE: Metric system please
By oab on 10/19/2008 9:26:15 PM , Rating: 2
The UK still uses Imperial. Mostly, it's a weird hybrid.

RE: Metric system please
By martinrichards23 on 10/20/2008 5:56:13 AM , Rating: 2
Not true, most old people in the UK *think* they only understand the imperial system, but try asking them how many furlongs in a mile, generally most have no idea what a "quart" even is.

Imperial is used for a few standard things (persons height in feet/inches, weight in stones, driving distances in miles), but otherwise people are totally clueless.

Answers to questions...
By customcoms on 10/19/2008 6:29:26 PM , Rating: 3
No, electric HP doesn't convert to ICE HP directly, because electrics have waaaaay more torque and the power is directly available (no waiting for engine to heat up, no need for a gear box etc.).


Li-Ion cells don't have a memory or loose charge when sitting like NiMH or NiCD cells. Additionally, I bet they are using A123 type cells (Lithium Phosphate), which actually have higher energy densities than Li-Polymer cells, by approximately 10-20%. Additionally, A123 cells can take much much higher (7x) charge currents than either Li-Ion or Li-Polymer cells.

RE: Answers to questions...
By joeld on 10/19/2008 7:08:01 PM , Rating: 2
204 hp is plenty to go faster than 95 mph. I take it this is a limitation to the max motor RPM, since there is no gearbox?

RE: Answers to questions...
By rudolphna on 10/20/2008 8:09:10 AM , Rating: 2
most likely, yes. Or its a governed speed.-

RE: Answers to questions...
By FITCamaro on 10/19/2008 8:46:24 PM , Rating: 2
Li-Ion cells don't have a memory or loose charge when sitting like NiMH or NiCD cells.

So how do you explain my laptops lithium ion battery discharging when its not even connected to my laptop (I remove it since my laptop is usually plugged in)?

RE: Answers to questions...
By rudolphna on 10/20/2008 8:11:12 AM , Rating: 2
they lose it much more slowly over time, dont have a memory effect, and degrade much more slowly over many more charge/discharge cycles

By Whedonic on 10/19/2008 11:21:29 AM , Rating: 4
On the one hand, this is really cool. On the other, we need a major step forward in battery technology to cut down on weight/extend range.

RE: Nifty
By FITCamaro on 10/19/2008 1:31:45 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously. I mean damn. 700 lbs in added weight? That's gotta make a small car like that handle like shit. Must have some seriously beefed up suspension to handle the extra weight.

Overall 150 miles is definitely enough for almost anyone's daily commute. So its definitely a nice step. I think its dumb to compare it to the Volt though considering the Volt is about twice as big and weighs even more than this Mini.

RE: Nifty
By stburke on 10/19/2008 3:08:21 PM , Rating: 2
That's why I'd like to see the use of more lithium-polymer batteries since they have something like 20% more energy density than ol' lith-ion

By FishTankX on 10/19/2008 9:21:59 PM , Rating: 2
What I could see as an excellent accessory to this car would be something like a 50HP gas generator/tank system that could be attached by trailer to the car, to extend it's range when going out of town. You could probably increase the range 5-6x by using an outboard gas generator, and it would nip the problem of out of town trips in the bud.

A decent 50HP gas generator and tank probably doesn't cost more than $3000-4000. Perhaps they could even be rented out.

RE: Accessories
By Howard on 10/19/2008 11:52:07 PM , Rating: 2
At first glance this seems like a great idea. Only thing is I'd use a diesel generator instead for more efficiency, as it would be operating at steady state.

RE: Accessories
By Shining Arcanine on 10/20/2008 7:34:34 AM , Rating: 2
Gasoline generators are supposed to be better than diesel generators under those conditions if I recall wikipedia correctly.

RE: Accessories
By stryfe on 10/21/2008 3:27:57 PM , Rating: 2
That's a great idea. At first the dealer could rent them out but after the market grew I could see the rental car companies carrying them.

It sure would be odd to see a car going down the road with exhaust exiting it's trailer but not the car.

Battery Wear
By TO on 10/19/2008 2:17:02 PM , Rating: 2
I'm just wondering this... typically lithium ion batteries have a lifespan of 1000 charges but usually cell wear out more quickly reducing their charging capacity. I'm just wondering what their actual reliability is, cost of replacement, and the total cost of ownership over a 10 year period... How expensive is it going to be to maintain this vehicle. Hopefully someone can shed some light on this... Perhaps it will be better to lease rather than buy.

RE: Battery Wear
By bobsmith1492 on 10/19/2008 6:56:42 PM , Rating: 2
The total number of charge cycles can be greatly increased by not charging completely and not discharging as deeply. That's how the Prius and apparently the Volt will work - they run between 40-80% charge more or less.

By Guttersnipe on 10/19/2008 5:34:16 PM , Rating: 2
without even a price range this this is highly dubious. if it costs way more than a volt then its basically a gimmick car. something tossed to the public for marketing more than real production numbers.

RE: dodgy...
By Spuke on 10/19/2008 8:08:42 PM , Rating: 2
something tossed to the public for marketing more than real production numbers.
There's only going to be 500 available. It's not intended to be a regular production vehicle.

204 HP
By codeThug on 10/19/2008 5:56:10 PM , Rating: 2
Is this an overly powerful motor for such a small car?

Does electric HP compare with internal combustion equally?


RE: 204 HP
By Spuke on 10/19/2008 8:09:13 PM , Rating: 2
Is this an overly powerful motor for such a small car?
Read the article.

204HP with a 95MPH top speed?
By Howard on 10/19/2008 11:50:22 PM , Rating: 2
Something doesn't sound right here.

RE: 204HP with a 95MPH top speed?
By Howard on 10/19/2008 11:51:03 PM , Rating: 2
Oops, didn't think of the transmission.

WTF is the Mini D?!
By Lord 666 on 10/19/2008 9:45:38 PM , Rating: 3
Instead of doing this rollout using intermediate technology, would think BMW would just bring the Mini D over.

Also always thought that Mini/BMW would use the platform to make a diesel/hybrid.

By phxfreddy on 10/19/2008 3:36:35 PM , Rating: 2
License | Registration | Insurance.

Double the cost.

Since you need 1 fully electric for in town and 1 gas for out of town you double costs. That is why fully electric is not yet practical.

I'd rather have this version
By fic2 on 10/20/2008 1:10:06 PM , Rating: 2
I would rather have this version of the a an electric mini:

4 x 160bhp electric motors
small on-board ICE to provide continuous recharge

GM Must be kicking themselves
By darkpuppet on 10/20/2008 4:05:10 PM , Rating: 2
GM must be kicking themselves for crushing all their EV-1's.

Still not a big fan of Li-ion tech -- Just wonder how long those batteries will last sitting in a car all day in the California sun (replace that fancy white roof with a fancy black solar one?).

Of course, that's probably a better fate than testing the market in Canada over winter.

maybe global warming will make them more practical

worthless ...
By AmazighQ on 10/19/08, Rating: -1
RE: worthless ...
By JAB on 10/19/2008 12:07:26 PM , Rating: 2
We need that Roy Lichtenstein pic 'That is the way it should have begun but now it is hopeless.'

One of the first big name companys to take the leap to a large run of Lithium Ion batteries in a usable all electric car and you call it a failure?! Come on this is real world research there is no replacement for it.

Note that the first Li Ion batterys will be far heaver than full scale production models. They need to find the real world stress points and weaknesses before they start maximizing the weight savings. It is one thing to make boutique cars it is another entirely to move to full production of a new technology.

RE: worthless ...
By djc208 on 10/19/2008 1:58:29 PM , Rating: 2
I'm always amazed at these reactions. No, the car isn't as practical as the standard Mini. No it won't perform as well, or handle as well as a normal Mini.

That isn't the point. It's a test run of the technology and the market. It's been done many times, look up the Chrysler Turbine car or the EV-1. You can't buy this car, like the EV-1 it will be a short term lease, kind of a public car Beta.

People will buy it to get away from gas, to feel they're being "green", and because it's something new and cool.

But the big problem with comments like this is that if this technology were practical we'd be using it already. All new technology goes through these growing pains. You can't overthrow 100+ years of ICE research and development in the 10 or so we've been trying. Like VHS->DVD, or telepone->cell it will take a while for these new technologies to hit their stride, let alone become cost effective. The early adopters will help that along until then.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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