Print 81 comment(s) - last by Major HooHaa.. on Oct 26 at 11:48 AM

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.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

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.

"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki