mph (electronically limited)
(from Mini Press
Release) A NEW EXPERIENCE - DRIVING PLEASURE WITHOUT
EMISSIONS: THE MINI E
Woodcliff Lake, NJ - October 18, 2008... The BMW Group will be the
worldís 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 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 possibility of offering the MINI E in
Europe as well is currently being considered. The MINI E will give
its world premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 19 and
The MINI Eís 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 brandís hallmark agility and outstanding handling.
By introducing the MINI E, the BMW Group is underscoring the resolve
with which it works towards reducing energy consumption and
emissions in road traffic. The BMW Group is drawing on its unique
technological expertise in the field of drive systems to develop a
vehicle concept enabling zero emissions without renouncing the joy
of driving. 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
The BMW Group aims to start series production of all-electric
vehicles over the medium term as part of its Number ONE strategy.
The development of innovative concepts for mobility in big-city
conurbations within the scope of ďproject iĒ has a similar thrust,
as its objective also includes making use of an all-electric power
The energy storage unit:
cutting-edge lithium-ion technology
engineered specifically for use in the MINI.
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.
The energy storage unitís basic components are based on the
technological principle that has proven itself in practice in power
supplies for mobile phones and portable computers. The MINI Eís
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 customerís garage, enable
higher amperage, and thus provide for extremely short charging
times. Wallboxes fully recharge batteries after a mere
Driven by electricity: reliably,
affordably and free of emissions.
A full recharge draws a
maximum of 28 kilowatt hours of electricity from the grid. Based on
the carís range, a kilowatt hour translates into 5.4 miles. Besides
the benefit of zero-emissions driving, the MINI E thus offers
significant economic advantages over a vehicle powered by a
conventional internal combustion engine as well.
The heavy-duty battery delivers its power to an electric motor,
which transforms it into thrilling agility. Mounted transversely
under the MINI Eís bonnet, the drive train unleashes its full thrust
from a dead standstill. This provides for the carís fascinating
launch capability. The MINI Eís intense driving experience is
augmented by its dynamic deceleration potential, which is also
directly coupled to the accelerator pedal. As soon as the driver
releases the gas pedal, the electric motor acts as a generator. This
results in braking force, and the power recovered from the kinetic
energy is fed back to the battery. This interaction ensures
extremely comfortable drives Ė especially at medium speed with
constant, but marginal, variation. In city traffic, some 75 percent
of all deceleration can be done without the brakes. Making
substantial use of this energy recuperation feature extends the
carís range by up to 20 percent.
Signature MINI agility in a new
Weighing in at 1,465
kilograms (3.230 lbs), 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 modelís specific wheel loads.
The MINI Eís 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. Even the air conditioningís electrical
compressor only operates if desired or necessary.
Design: unmistakably MINI,
At first glance, the
MINI E is obviously an iteration of the brand. But its design, which
is the blueprint for the zero-emissions two-seater, has been
complemented by a number of visual cues that point to its
revolutionary drive concept. All of the units produced for the pilot
project will have the same paintwork and bear a serial number on
their front fenders.
The MINI Eís coachwork sports an exclusive combination of metallic
Dark Silver on all panels but the roof, which is clad in Pure
Silver. What distinguishes the zero-emissions MINI is a specially
designed logo in Interchange Yellow, depicting a stylized power plug
in the shape of an ďEĒ set against the silver backdrop. It has been
applied to the roof, in smaller dimensions to the front and back, to
the charger port lid, the dashboard trim, and Ė combined with the
MINI logo Ė to the door jamb, in slightly modified form. The color
of the roof edges, mirror housings, interior style cues and seat
seams will match the logoís yellow tone as well.
Moreover, the central gauge and the battery level indicator behind
the wheel of the MINI E, which replaces the MINIís rev counter,
feature yellow lettering against a dark grey background. The battery
level is displayed in percentage figures. The central gauge includes
an LED display indicating power consumption in red and power
recuperation in green.
MINI E customers will be part of a
limited-production MINI E series will be manufactured through the
end of 2008. 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.
MINI E customers will join forces with BMW Group experts to assist
in the projectís scientific evaluation. MINI E engineers accord high
importance to staying in touch with the drivers on a regular basis,
as this will help them analyze driver behavior besides vehicle
characteristics in order to gain the most accurate and realistic
picture of the demands placed on a vehicle with a purely electrical
drive in the select usage areas.
Special charging station and full
service for every MINI E.
The cars will change
hands based on a one-year lease with an extension option. Monthly
lease installments will cover any required technical service
including all necessary maintenance and the replacement of wearing
parts. At the end of the lease, all of the automobiles belonging to
the project will be returned to the BMW Groupís engineering fleet
where they will be subjected to comparative tests.
The MINI Eís lithium-ion battery can be charged using a wallbox
provided to MINI customers. Only lockable garages or similar
buildings will qualify as homebases and power stations for the MINI
Maintenance by qualified
The electric driveís
high-voltage technology requires that maintenance work be done by
qualified personnel using special tools that are not included in
MINI service partnersí standard toolboxes. In light of this, a
service base will be set up on both coasts, staffed by service
engineers that are specially trained to perform maintenance and
repair work on the MINI Eís electrical components. In the event of
drive malfunction, these experts will provide professional support
at the customerís local MINI dealer or the service baseís specially
equipped workshop. Technical inspections will take place after 3,000
miles (just under 5,000 kilometers) and at least after six months.
Production in Oxford and Munich.
The MINI E has already
gone through the major phases of product development for
mass-produced vehicles and passed numerous crash tests on the way.
Aspects investigated besides passenger protection were the impact of
collision forces on the lithium-ion battery and finding a
non-hazardous location for it in the car. The MINI Eís energy
storage unit emerged completely unscathed from all of the crash
tests mandated by US standards, which are especially high.
Production of the approximately 500 cars will take place at the
companyís Oxford and Munich sites and is scheduled for completion
before the end of 2008. MINIís UK plant will be responsible for
manufacturing the entire vehicle with the exception of the drive
components and the lithium-ion battery, with the brandís 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 integrated.