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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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worthless ...
By AmazighQ on 10/19/2008 11:41:02 AM , Rating: -1
to much gasoline in the world still
all effort are just to show they are trying
but the automotive company's ain't trying hard enough
taking a car platform build for fossille fuel engines
and using an crippled electric power system cause it is not fully developed yet but put on the market cause Greenpeace wants it
dump it on the market and you will see people will rather buy anything but an electric car cause its crap
and that how the automotive company's want it to be
they could use that money they waste on electric cars getting them to the public for research

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.

"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference

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