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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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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

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