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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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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.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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