The BMW Group will be the
world's first manufacturer of premium automobiles to deploy a fleet of
some 500 all-electric vehicles for private use in daily traffic. The
MINI E will be powered by a 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
156 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 company is looking into
expanding the MINI E pilot to include Europe.
The MINI E's electric
drive train produces a peak torque of 220 Newton meters, delivering
seamless acceleration to 62 mph in 8.5 seconds. Top speed is
electronically limited to 95 mph. Featuring a suspension system tuned to
match its weight distribution, the MINI E sports the brand's hallmark
agility and outstanding handling.
Putting some 500 cars on
the road under real daily traffic conditions will make it possible to
gain widely applicable hands-on experience. Evaluating these findings
will generate valuable know-how, which will be factored into the
engineering of mass-produced vehicles. The BMW Group aims to start
series production of all-electric vehicles over the medium term as part
of its Number ONE strategy.
Weighing in at 1,465
kilograms, the MINI E has an even weight distribution. Minor
modifications made to the suspension ensure safe handling at all times.
The Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system has been adapted to this
model's specific wheel loads.
The MINI E's brake system
comes with a newly developed electric underpressure pump. Its Electrical
Power Assisted Steering (EPS) is the same as the one used in
mass-produced MINIs. Both brake and steering assistance react to driving
conditions and are thus extremely efficient.
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. When in use in the zero-emissions MINI, the battery
unit combines high output with ample storage capacity and a small
footprint with power ratios that are unrivalled in this field of
application so far. 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.