An all-electric range of over 150 miles makes these Mini’s something special.
Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG
– Oct. 18, 2008
Introducing the 2009 Mini E.
Woodcliff Lake, NJ - BMW announced they will be world’s first manufacturer to deploy a fleet of 500 all-electric vehicles for private ownership.
The MINI E will initially be made available to select private and corporate customers as part of a pilot project in California, New York and New Jersey. The cars will be offered with a one-year lease and an extension option. At the end of the lease, all of the E’s will be returned to the BMW Group’s engineering fleet where they will be subjected to comparative tests.
Based on the current MINI, the car will initially be available as a two-seater. The rear seat passenger space is being utilized by the large Li-Ion battery.
Drivetrain and Performance
The MINI E will be powered by a 204 HP electric motor fed by a high-performance rechargeable Li-Ion battery. The all-electric drive train produces a maximum torque of 162 Lb-Ft which offers a 0 to 60 mph time of less than 8.5 seconds and a top speed that has been electronically limited to 95 mph. Energy Efficiency is listed at 185 Wh/mile with an All-Electric Range (AER) of 150 miles.
The Li-Ion battery will have a stated capacity of 35 kWh with a maximum Depth of Discharge limited to 80% while outputting a nominal 380 volts. The battery consists of 5,088 cells grouped into 48 modules packaged into three separate battery elements.
Regenerative braking is standard and a recently developed all-electric vacuum pump powers the brakes.
Weighing in at a hefty 3,230 lbs, the MINI E’s suspension was modified to handle the extra weight and to match its new weight distribution while still offering Mini’s trademark responsive handling. The Mini E’s Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system has also been adapted to compensate for the increased weight and wheel loading while the E’s Electrical Power Assisted Steering (EPS) is the same as used in mass-produced MINIs.
The standard tach in the instrument cluster has been removed as it would have no real use in an all-EV drive. A State of Charge (SoC) battery level indicator has been included and is offset to the right within the central gauge speedometer display. Within that same display is an LED indicating power consumption in red and power regeneration in green.
Production of the approximately 500 cars will take place at the company’s Oxford, England and Munich, Germany facilities and is scheduled for completion before the end of 2008. MINI’s UK plant will be responsible for manufacturing the entire vehicle with the exception of the drive components and the Li-Ion battery. The base vehicles will then be transferred to a specially equipped manufacturing complex situated on BMW plant premises where the electric motor, battery units, performance electronics and transmission will be integrated.
The possibility of offering the MINI E in Europe is being considered. The MINI E is only the first release of many planned under BMW Group’s new “Number ONE” strategy.
The MINI E’s world premiere will be held at the Los Angeles Auto Show Pres Event on November 19 and 20, 2008.