LA Auto Show: 500 Electric
To be tested first in California, NY and NJ
Dark Silver, with the roof in
A new, electrically-powered MINI E will
have its first media presentation at the 2008
Los Angeles Auto Show on November 19 and
20, before 500 vehicles get shipped to the US
states of California, New York and New Jersey
for testing with customers.
The possibility of offering the model in Europe
as well is currently being considered, as the
BMW Group (owner of the British MINI brand) aims
to begin series production in the medium term of
all-electric vehicles as part of the companyís
Number ONE strategy.
MINI E produced for this
project will bear a serial
The first 500 cars will be delivered to
customers on a one-year lease term, with an
Monthly lease installments will cover technical
service including maintenance and the
replacement of wearing parts.
At the end of the lease, all of the automobiles
belonging to the project will be returned to the
BMW Groupís engineering fleet for comparative
Specification and performance
MINI E will be powered by a 150 kW (204 hp)
electric motor (max. RPM
is 12,500, with cut-off
by a high-performance rechargeable lithium-ion
battery. Power is transferred to the front
wheels via a single-stage helical gearbox. Peak
torque (from idle) is 220 Nm.
The premium small car
reaches 100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.5 seconds,
on the way to an electronically-limited top
speed of 153 km/h (95 mph).
The MINI Eís 1,465
kilograms (3230 lb) curb weight is evenly
distributed across the car (the regular MINI
weighs around 1060 to 1130 kg). The battery's
weight is 260 kg (573 lbs). Power-to-weight ratio
is 9.76 kg/kW (or
gauge indicates power
consumption and recuperation.
Zero emissions -
A full recharge draws a maximum of 28 kilowatt
hours of electricity from the grid. Based
on the carís range
of some 240 kilometers, or 150 miles,
a kilowatt hour translates into 8.7 km (5.4
miles), offering an economic advantage over a
vehicle powered by a conventional internal
The heavy-duty battery
delivers its power to an electric motor, which
is mounted transversely under the MINI Eís
bonnet. It can deliver its full thrust
from a dead standstill and is complemented by
its dynamic deceleration potential, which is directly
coupled to the accelerator pedal: as
soon as the driver releases the accelerator
pedal, the electric motor acts as a generator.
This results in braking force, and the power
recovered from the kinetic energy is fed back to
km/h in 8.5 seconds, and a
limited top speed of 153
The car maker says that in city traffic, some
75 per cent of all deceleration can be done
without the brakes, with this energy
regeneration extending the carís range by up
to 20 percent.
The brake system
comes with a newly developed electric pump. Its Electrical
Power Assisted Steering (EPS) is the same as
the one used in mass-produced MINIs. The
suspension system and the carís Dynamic
Stability Control (DSC) are adapted to the
modelís specific wheel loads.
time is dependent on the
voltage and amperage.
Based on the current MINI
Hatch, the E model will initially be available
as a two-seater. The space normally
inhabited by rear passengers is reserved for a
The lithium-ion storage unit
will have a maximum capacity of 35 kilowatt
hours (kWh) and transmit energy to the electric
motor as direct current at a nominal 380 volts.
The rechargeable battery is made up of 5,088
cells grouped into 48 modules which are
packaged into three compactly
storage unit with a max.
capacity of 35 (kWh).
technology is largely used in modern mobile
phones and portable computers. The MINI Eís
lithium-ion battery can be plugged into all
standard power outlets. Its charge time
is strongly dependent on the voltage and
amperage of the electricity flowing through the
grid: from 2.9 hours at 240 V/48 A, or 4.4 hours
at 240 V/32 A, up to 23.6 hours at 110 V/12 A.
In the USA, users can
recharge a completely drained battery
very short period of time, using a wallbox that
will be supplied as standard with every MINI E.
E model will initially be
available as a 2-seater.
The wallbox will be installed in the customerís
garage to enable higher amperage, and thus
provide for extremely short charging times.
Wallboxes fully recharge batteries in just
two-and-a-half hours. Only lockable
garages or similar buildings will qualify as
power stations for the MINI E.
The E styling -
Every MINI E produced for this pilot project
will have the same paintwork and bear a serial
number on their front bumpers.
The MINI Eís coachwork features a combination
of metallic Dark Silver on all panels, while the
roof is clad in Pure Silver. A unique logo
in Interchange Yellow, depicts a power plug in
the shape of an ďEĒ set against a silver
background. It has been applied to the
roof, in smaller dimensions to the front and
back, to the charger port lid, the dashboard
trim, and to the door jamb, in slightly modified
rear passengers space is
reserved for a lithium-ion
color of the roof edges, mirror housings,
interior style cues and seat seams will also
match the logoís yellow hue.
litres of remaining
in the E MINI.
Inside, the central
gauge and battery level indicator behind the
wheel which replaces the MINIís rev counter,
feature yellow lettering against a dark grey
background. The battery level is displayed in
percentage figures. The central gauge includes
an LED display indicating power consumption in
red and power recuperation in green.
Maintenance - As the
electric driveís high-voltage technology
requires maintenance by qualified personnel
using special tools that are not included in
MINI service partnersí standard toolboxes, a
service base will be set up for customers in
California, New York and New Jersey, staffed by specially
trained MINI service
In the event of drive
malfunction, these experts will provide
professional support at the customerís local
MINI dealer or the service baseís specially
equipped workshop. Technical inspections will
take place after 3,000 miles (just under 5,000
kilometers) and at least after six months.
numerous crash tests,
including those of US
The MINI E has already gone through the major
phases of product development for mass-produced
vehicles and passed numerous crash tests on the
way, including those mandated by US standards.
Production of the 500 cars
will take place at the companyís Oxford and
Munich sites and is scheduled for completion
before the end of 2008.
MINIís Plant Oxford will be responsible for
manufacturing the entire vehicle on the standard
production line, with the exception of the drive
components and the lithium-ion battery. The
units will then be transferred to a specially
equipped manufacturing facility situated on BMW
plant premises where the electric motor, battery
units, performance electronics and transmission
will be integrated.