The BMW Group officially announces the Mini E electric car we reported about in July the first time. The MINI E will be powered by a 150 kW (204 hp) electric motor fed by a high-performance rechargeable lithium-ion battery, transferring its power to the front wheels via a single-stage helical gearbox nearly without a sound and entirely free of emissions.
Specially engineered for automobile use, the battery technology will have a range of more than 240 kilometers, or 150 miles. The MINI E will initially be made available to select private and corporate customers as part of a pilot project in the US states of California, New York and New Jersey. The MINI E will give its world premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 19 and 20, 2008. The MINI E’s electric drive train produces a peak torque of 220 Newton meters, delivering seamless acceleration to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.5 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 152 km/h (95 mph). Featuring a suspension system tuned to match its weight distribution, the MINI E sports the brand’s hallmark agility and outstanding handling.
Based on the current MINI, the car will initially be available as a two-seater. The space taken up by back-seat passengers in the series model has been reserved for the lithium-ion battery.
The MINI E’s 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. In the USA, users can recharge a battery that has been completely drained within a very short period of time using a wallbox that will ship with every MINI E. The wallbox will be installed in the customer’s garage, enable higher amperage, and thus provide for extremely short charging times. Wallboxes fully recharge batteries after a mere two-and-a-half hours.
Weighing in at 1,465 kg (3.230 lbs) the Mini E is about 500lbs heavier as the Tesla Roadster.
The engine of the Mini E has 44hp less than the Tesla and the Mini E accelerates half as fast to 60mph. This just shows that BMW should have invested in designing a complete new electric car and not just put batteries and a electric motor in a conventional car design.
Production of the approximately 500 cars will take place at the company’s Oxford and Munich sites and is scheduled for completion before the end of 2008. The possibility of offering the MINI E in Europe as well is currently being considered. The remaining question is what the Mini E will be selling for.
Via the BMW site.
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