Herr Doktor MINI-E Announces Range: 149 to 124 Miles Per Charge. More or Less…
BMW’s re-launch of the MINI brand stateside was a marketing meisterstück. From focused billboards to user-friendly showrooms to a “cheeky” website– MINI never put a foot wrong. Their timing was impeccable, launching the anti-SUV just as SUVs became showroom anti-matter. Needless to say, the brand is now showing signs of losing the plot. A MINI Clubfoot? What’s that all about? A MINI SUV? Just as SUVs get stuck in the tarpit of a market meltdown? Now you might think that a EV MINI couldn’t miss. Well, it missed the gas price bubble. And it also missed the lesson of GM’s EV1– a product killed by a lack of range, a lack of interior space and long recharge times. On MINIspace, MINI’s mini MINI site, MINI’s Head of Project i (why not iMINI instead of the awkward MINI-E?) spills the beans. Ulrich Kranz reveals the hard facts about the 500 EV mules for which bleeding edge environmentalists will surrender their left testicle. “[Drivers will achieve] 240 kilometres if you drive at a moderate pace or 200 kilometres using the motor’s full output.” All this in a small car– without rear seats. (those belong to the li-on batteries). That’s 0 for 2. Recharge time? “The fastest way of charging the battery fully is using a wallbox supplied to all 500 MINI E drivers. The wallbox is installed in the driver’s garage and enables a higher amperage, which ensures extremely short charging times. Indeed, the wallbox takes no more than two and a half hours to charge up the battery.” So how long without the “did the lights just go dim again?” box? Crickets chirping. EV fans may line-up around the block, but I reckon they’ll eventually form a circle.
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"Regardless of how “suburban” you are you shouldn’t need to drive more than 50 miles per day for anything." And you don't have to pick the kids up after gymnastics and take your mother to the doctor ... The average American car does 12,000 mi./yr. If you limit it to 50 miles a day, you have to stay home 125 days out of the year. Why is that I suspect electric car enthusiasts of being guided by the Duke of Wellington's Ghost: “[Railroads will] only encourage the common people to move about needlessly.” Another thing that bothers me is the performance claims. GM claims that they will get 40 mi. from 12 kWh out of a 400 lbs. battery pack. The Mini is claimed to get 240 km. (150 mi) on a charge of 28 kWh out of a 573 lbs. battery. This means that the Mini's battery can hold 60% more energy per lbs. than GM's can, or that they are lying, or something. Maybe its the Cherman Engineering. I note that GM is claiming 3.34 mi/kWh. Even Tesla is not claiming more than that, according to the NYTimes. The Mini is claiming 5.35 mi./kWh which strikes me as moonshine. As for charging the Mini. A standard 120V 15A circuit will take at least 15 hours, an electric dryer circuit (240V 30A) would take about 4 hours, and the special box which maybe 2 dryer circuits about 2.5. That is if the special box doesn't cause the batteries to go up in flames. I say let Ed Begley drive it around for a while, then call me.
What's all this, if you have to drive more then 50 miles then you picked a poor place to live stuff? Isn't that a bit short sited and highly judgemental? You can easily top that, even within a large city, especially in the West that are spread all over the place. An electrical vehicle sounds interesting, but it has to be able to get me where I need to go, when I need to get there, sometimes without much planning. Until I see these things out there, I am going to have my doubts. Its gotta be practical for people to buy it, and even as a commuter second car, I'm not sure this is it.