BMW will deploy a fleet of 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 150 miles.
The MINI E will initially be made available to select private and
corporate customers in the US states of
California, New York and New Jersey. The possibility of offering the
MINI E in Europe as well is currently being considered.
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
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. These modules are packaged into
three battery elements that are compactly arranged inside the MINI E.
A 500-unit, limited-production MINI E
series will be manufactured through the end of 2008. The cars will
change hands based on a one-year lease with an extension option. The project will
thus attain an order of magnitude that clearly exceeds the size of
currently comparable test series. Putting the MINI E on the road on a
daily basis will be a pioneering feat to which both the drivers and
engineers of the first zero-emissions MINI will contribute as a team.
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.
MINI's UK plant will be responsible for manufacturing the entire vehicle
with the exception of the drive components and the lithium-ion battery,
with the brand's series models rolling off its assembly lines
concurrently. The units 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