Tuesday, October 21, 2008

All-Electric Mini Unveiled

BMW's finally pulled the wraps off the 204-horsepower all-electric Mini it is bringing to America and says the car could be here as early as next year, although just 500 people will be lucky enough to get their hands on one.

BMW says it will lease the Mini E two-seater to "select private and corporate customers" in California, New York and New Jersey under what is essentially a big R&D project to develop EVs through its Project i.

BMW isn't saying what the leases will cost. Whatever it is, those who get their hands on one will be getting what is a sweet little car if only because it's an EV that doesn't look like a toy.

The Mini E features a 150-kilowatt (204 horsepower) asynchronous motor coupled to a single-stage helical gearbox. The drivetrain produces 162 foot-pounds of torque the moment you hit the accelerator, propelling the car from 0 to 62 mph in 8.5 seconds. Top speed is limited to 95 mph.

Power comes from a 35-kWh, lithium-ion battery with a range of 150 miles. It is comprised of 5,088 individual cells in an air-cooled battery pack that weighs 573 pounds and charges in about eight hours. Those who lease the car get a "wallbox" that BMW will install in customers' garages to increase the amperage, reducing the charge time to 2.5 hours. Regenerative braking will help keep the battery charged out on the road, an arrangement BMW says extended the battery's range by 20 percent.
Looks pretty good. The Mini has 35 kWh of batteries and has a range of 150 miles. For comparison, the Tesla Roadster has 50 kWh of batteries and a range of 200 miles. The 2.5 hour recharging time sounds good too.

I wonder how much they would cost if they sold them?

via Wired

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