Feeds

BMW unwraps electric Mini

This is the Earth Preservation Society

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

'Leccy Tech BMW yesterday announced the arrival of the electric Mini - or Mini E. Powered by a 150kW – 204hp – electric motor fed by a 260kg lithium-ion battery pack, the car goes from 0 to 62mph in 8.5s and sports a top speed limited to 95mph.

BMW claimed the range you'll get out of a full charge will be 150 miles.

BMW Mini E

BMW's Mini E: nippy yet green

The hefty battery pack sits in the space taken up by the rear seats in the normal model, though as the Mini has never been much more than 2+2 anyway - and has sold on style and driving dynamics more than practicality - this is perhaps not such a big deal.

With beefed up suspension and the battery pack sitting between the two axles, the rather hefty E – 1465kg up from the normal car's 1135kg – is still claimed to have “thrilling agility... outstanding handling” and “fascinating launch capability”, the latter probably meaning that having 162ft lb of near silent torque on call from idle can make life interesting both for the driver and any nearby pedestrians who are not paying attention.

BMW will also be supplying wall boxes to customers with a suitable garage that will enable a higher amperage charge that should see the battery go from flat to fully charged in two and a half hours. The battery itself has a maximum capacity of 35kWh and a full charge is said to draw 28kWh from the grid.

BMW Mini E

'Fascinating launch capability', claims BMW

Taking a leaf out of BMW Sauber F1's Kinetic Energy Recovery System book, the Mini also claims to feed charge back to the battery the moment the driver takes his foot of the accelerator so making use of power otherwise wasted during engine braking. This"energy recuperation" feature is said to extend the Mini E's range by up to 20 per cent.

The cars will be leased rather than sold, and after 12 months BMW will take them back to kick the tyres and see what lessons can be learned from a year's day-to-day use in the real world - presumably with a view to a full scale production run in 2010 or 2011, as BMW is referring to the E as the “blueprint for the zero-emissions two-seater”.

This may cause some sleepless nights at Chevrolet. While the E is a lot smaller than the Volt, as Nigel Powers said" “It's not the size, mate, it's how you use it.”

BMW Mini E

It's not the size, it's how you use it

The initial run of 500 cars will be assembled at the BMW Cowley plant near Oxford, though the drive train and battery components will ship in as finished parts from BMW in Germany. Production is due to be complete by the end of the year the finished cars then going to “select private and corporate customers in California, New York and New Jersey”, so don't expect to see one wafting down the Kings Road just yet.

Expect to hear about the first lawsuit filed by a twit who has been run over by a “silent” Mini E some time sooner.

The Mini E will be officially unveiled at the Los Angeles Motor Show on 19 November.

BMW Mini E

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Ex-Soviet engines fingered after Antares ROCKET launch BLAST
Speculation rife, but Orbital claims it's too early to tell
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
NASA: Spacecraft crash site FOUND ON MOON RIM
'What fun!' exlaims NASA boffin who found the LADEE
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.