The Electric Mini E
The world has gone electric; there is absolutely no doubt about that. Nearly every car manufacture worth noting has a division of their company investing and building electric vehicles. In a recent move, BMW announced its electric ‘i’ line, offering both sport and comfort to the modern driver. Not done shocking audiences just yet, the company has another branch of the company pushing into the electric market using quintessential British flair.
News welcomed by many, the company will be introducing a new Mini called the Mini “e” that will offer comfort and luxury in a cute new electric package. Already lighter on your wallet with amazing fuel economy and great range, BMW believed that they can push it even further with the added advantage of green energy.
In BMW’s recently conducted study, the electric Mini’s were used to judge the general condition of the electric market. Driven over 250,000 miles across the country, the study took 76 car testers to test standard driving habits of a battery-powered vehicles. Furthermore, the company also wished to see how the Mini actually functioned in a real world environment.
Based on the study, the average daily journey lasted 26 miles and peaked at 30 miles. Single trips were usually around 9.5 miles, which suggested that the Mini e could, and was, used exclusively for many of the trips taken.
The total number of 40 prototype Mini’s were used, ultimately consuming an enormous 80,282 kWh of electricity during the test. What was found was that many individuals charged the cars at home during cheap electricity hours which allowed them to save money and drive a car they really enjoyed. Another interesting fact that came out of the study was that the vast majority of the test drivers would purchase the electric Mini if they were given the chance.
The main problem plaguing the fair Mini ‘e’ was unfortunately the limitations of the battery pack. Not unlike last weeks Top Gear that exhibited the marvels of the Nissan Leaf, if you are running short of fuel there are a few places to that are available to actually charge it up, and if you manage to find one it may take hours to get it done. With the recent push by the US government in combination with private companies this problem is slowly diminishing. The UK has also provided considerable amount of money and effort to breach this barrier as well, allowing us to embrace the Mini-e completely when the projects are completed in the next decade.