I've written an article on examiner.com about the recently launched Mini-E program and a stink that Plugged In America is raising. BMW Mini E program has major problems, maybe
What a load of hogwash!
If BMW was serious about building an EV, they would build a BMW, not convert a Mini!
Monty Python could not have made up a better story....
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The current incarnation of the Mini/Mini Cooper is now made by BMW. It's relatively small size (but larger than the old British Minis) is a good platform for an EV.
What a load of cr_p most of this is!
1. As PJD wrote, BMW retained Mini after they sold off Rover to China, and has developed all recent Mini models. It's transversally mounted engine with front wheel drive will also be implanted in the next 1 series generation in order to increase volumes and bring down costs. So if anyone wants a rear-drive 1 series with 6cyl. in-line ICE the last such model has been launched just now...
2. The E-Mini Program is indeed purely a prototype program, set up in order to study how everyday users interact with the vehicle, how they use it, where they charge it, what their usual driving cycles are, etc. Very similar to many other programs of other manufacturers over the last 15 to 20 years. If they are doing such a poor job at supplying even the very basic bits of equipment needed to charge the thing that is very unfortunate and unprofessional, I totally agree with that. But to imply that BMW are solely eyeing CARB credits with this piece of kit is a very strange way of thinking. These few test vehicles can never offset BMW GHG emissions enough to make it worthwhile for BMW to go through all this hassle with the E-Mini testing program...
3 BMW are currently developing an electric drive version of the 1 series (Active E), with real proprietary equipment on board, set for small series production and a similar test program as with E-Mini, for 2012. This sets the stage for the first vehicle of the new Sub-brand
4. BMW-i, the all-electric i3, a 4-seat compact vehicle of new architecture built around the electric drivetrain that will be tested first in 1 series Active E. It's SOP is set for 2013. It has an aluminum space frame chassis with rear-mounted 125kW electric motor, the batteries from SB-Li-Motive (joint-venture of Samsung and Bosch) and all the other paraphernelia necessary to operate an electric car. It has an extremely light carbon fibre body in order to bring weight and thus energy consumption down. It will be available with different battery sizes and also a range extender version. The prices will most probably be rather high, as is to be expected from BMW... Also in 2013 the diesel-electric plugin-hybrid sportscar i8 is supposed to be launched, in almost unchanged design from the studies presented recently.
BMW are extremely committed to their new elctric i-range, of course in order to bring their fleet GHG emissions down even further than they have already achieved. What is wrong about that? Plugin America are the ones that demand elctric vehicles from the traditional car manufacturers, and then BMW comes along, developing the first ever fully electrical vehicle architecture (not based on traditional production methods like i-MiEV or Leaf), and Plugin America smell nothing but scheming...
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