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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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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...

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