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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.



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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
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_grid#Losses

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?


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