Mini E

Mini E
Mini E
Mini E
Manufacturer BMW
Production 2009-
Assembly Oxford, England
Class Small family car
Body style 3-door hatchback
Layout FF layout
Electric motor 150 kW (200 hp) asynchronous motor
Transmission 1-speed helical
Battery 35 kilowatt-hours (130 MJ) lithium ion battery
Range 100 mi (160 km)
Wheelbase 97.1 in (2,466 mm)
Length 146.2 in (3,713 mm)
Width 66.3 in (1,684 mm)
Height 55.4 in (1,407 mm)

The Mini E is a demonstration electric car developed by BMW as a conversion of its Mini Cooper car. The MINI E was developed for field trials and deployed in several countries, including the United States, Germany, UK, France, Japan and China.[1] The field testing of the Mini E is part of BMW Project i, which will be followed in mid 2011 by a similar trial with the BMW ActiveE, and the last phase of project is the development of the BMW i3 urban electric car, that is expected to go into mass production between 2013 and 2015.[2][3]

The first trial was launched in the U.S. in June 2009 and the Mini E was available through leasing to private users in Los Angeles and the New York/New Jersey area.[4] Another field test was launched in the UK in December 2009, where more than forty Mini E cars were handed to private users for a two consecutive six-month field trial periods.[5] This trial program allowed the BMW Group to become the world's first major car manufacturer to deploy a fleet of more than 500 all-electric vehicles for private use.[6]

Contents

History

The Mini E was unveiled at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show.[7] BMW is using its Mini brand to test the market with its electric powertrain technology but the vehicle was also developed in order to meet new California regulations that require carmakers to offer zero emission vehicles.[8]

Specifications

Powertrain

The Mini E is powered by an asynchronous electric motor that is mounted in the former engine bay and is rated at 204 PS (150 kW) and 220 N·m (160 ft·lbf) of torque. Drive is sent to the front wheels. The Mini E employs a lithium-ion battery pack with an overall capacity of a 35 kilowatt-hours (130 MJ). The batteries weigh 572 pounds (259 kg) and replace the back seat.[9] Top speed is electronically limited to 95 mph (153 km/h). The car’s range is 156 miles (251 km) on a single charge under optimal conditions. Estimates of normal driving conditions put ranges at 109 miles (175 km) city and 96 miles (154 km) highway.[10]

Mini E under the hood

AC Propulsion issued a news release on November 19, 2008, stating that AC Propulsion is a supplier for Mini E.[11] The news release states that AC Propulsion supplies a specially developed version of its proprietary tzero, a registered trademark, technology, including air-cooled copper-rotor induction motor and Li ion battery on the Mini E. It is characterized by high performance, high efficiency, and fast charging.

Charging

The Mini E can be charged through 120-volt (at 12 amp) and 240-volt (at 32 or 48 amp) power sources, and correspondingly, charging times are 20 hours and 3.5 hours (fast-charge system).[12] The user must set the correct charge rate using the instrument panel before beginning charging. Detailed instructions are in the user's manual.

The 240-volt 32-amp home "wall box" charging stations for the USA trial were made by Clipper Creek,[13] with a proprietary electrical connector to the car made by ODU.[14]

Performance

The acceleration is via drive-by-wire technology. A software mediated delay makes the vehicle hesitate a little when the acceleration pedal is first pressed. This artificially limits the electric motor's response, preventing burnout from a standstill. After this initial delay, response goes back to normal.

The Mini E regenerative braking is designed to capture as much kinetic energy as possible giving the Mini E a distinct driving characteristic. Once the driver's right foot leaves the acceleration pedal, the Mini E starts full regenerative braking. The vehicle slows down significantly as if the brake pedal were pressed and the brake lights will turn on. On level surfaces Mini E stops completely and the brake lights will turn off. To slow down, one may just back off the acceleration pedal a little. Use of the brake pedal may be reserved for emergencies and quick stops.

Production

The Mini factory located in Oxford, England, supplies vehicle gliders (cars without powertrains) to a team located in Munich, Germany, which then adds the electric running gear.[8]

Field trial program

The Mini E trial will be followed by the field testing of the BMW ActiveE in 2011.

The field testing of the Mini E is part of BMW Project i, which will be followed in mid 2011 by a similar trial with the BMW ActiveE all-electric vehicle which will accommodate seats for four adults and cargo. The Active E is based on the BMW 1 Series Coupe and will be built based on the lessons learned from the Mini E field testing. The last phase of "Project i" is the development of the BMW i3, formerly known as the Mega City Vehicle (MCV) urban electric car, which will be part of a new brand called BMW i, which will be separately from BMW or Mini, and plans to go into mass production between 2013 and 2015.[2][3][15][16] The field testing of the Active E will include fewer than 1000 cars and will be conducted in Los Angeles and New York, but BMW is also considering expansion to other areas.[2][3]

U.S. program

In the U.S. a total of 9,500 people signed up to lease the MINI E for the 450 cars available.[17][18] In June 2009, Mini started the program by leasing 250 units in Los Angeles area and 200 in the New York/New Jersey area.[2] The leasing price was set at US$850 (approx. €600) a month for one year and included collision coverage, maintenance costs, and home installation of the charging station.[3] Residents of New Jersey did not pay sales tax on their lease due to the existing state exemption for battery electric vehicles.[19]

In May 2010 BMW announced that leasing could be renewed for another year at a lower price of US$600 a month.[15][20] This renewal was offered to all individuals who currently have a Mini E but fleet customers are excluded, and according to BMW half of all current lessees agreed to the extension.[15][20]

European program

France

Field testing in Paris with 50 units began in 2010.[21][22]

Germany

A total of 100 trial vehicles were assigned to Germany.[2] Testing in Berlin began in June 2009, and for the second phase, a total of 70 vehicles were delivered in March 2011 to private customers and fleet users.[23] Field testing began in Munich in September 2010, for a leasing fee of €400 (approx. US$517) per month.[24][25]

United Kingdom

Mini E recharging

Testing in the U.K. took place between December 2009 and March 2011 with 40 Mini E cars handed to private users for a two consecutive six-month field trial periods.[26] The leasing price was set at GB£330 (around US$536) per month, which includes VAT, insurance, service and maintenance.[5] In addition, one MINI E was delivered to the Government car pool in Downing Street to be tested by ministers in an urban environment on their official business around London.[27]

The UK trial was a partnership between BMW Group UK, Scottish and Southern Energy, the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council. Data collection and research was conducted by Oxford Brookes University’s Sustainable Vehicle Engineering Centre throughout the UK project. Funding support was provided by the Technology Strategy Board and the Department for Transport (DFT) as part of the GB£25 million (US$41 million) UK-wide program involving trials of 340 ultra-low carbon vehicles from several carmakers.[26][5][27] The selected test area is roughly a triangle contained within the M40 motorway between the M25 motorway and Oxford, the A34 south to the M3 motorway, and the M3 back to the M25.[28]

The 40 Mini E electric cars have been kept in use after the trial was completed in March 2011, participating in activities to promote awareness and understanding of electric vehicles. These cars will form part of the BMW Group UK’s official vehicle fleet for the London 2012 Olympic Games.[26]

China

Field testing in Beijing started on February 22, 2011.[29] Testing also is taking place in Shenzhen.[26]

Japan

A field trial is schedule to take place in Tokyo in 2011.[26]

Field test results

Rear view of the Mini E.

The main concerns reported by some of the users participating in the U.S. during the first year trial were range anxiety and lack of public charging infrastructure, as the country had only 734 public charging stations, and most of them were located in California.[6][12][30] Another concern reported is that the already restrictive 100-mile (160 km) range on a fully charged battery reduces to between 80 to 90 miles (140 km) during very cold weather.[6][30] In the UK, an abnormally harsh winter also showed how very low temperatures diminishes power output until the battery is ‘warmed-up’ once in use.[21] There was even one report of the range dropping below 40 miles (64 km) in sub-zero weather.[31] There have also been issues with exterior charging points as winter temperatures drop dramatically.[21]

Other complaints in the U.S. related to the lack of space in the car as the battery pack eliminates the Mini’s back seat and most of its cargo area,[30][32] and the difficulties found in practice to install the charging equipment in homes, which took longer than anticipated, as just getting the installation permit in the U.S., including site visits and inspections took up to a month.[32][33]

BMW

According to the BMW team of engineers responsible for the demonstration program, the following are facts and key lessons learned during the Mini E first year trial:[34]

  • Most of the Mini E applicants were well-educated and well-off males over 35, with an affinity for new technology, willing to experience a new and clean technology, and for them the lower vehicle running costs were not very important.
  • Most drivers used the Mini E as a second vehicle and for the daily commute.
  • Longest trip in a Mini E to date was 158 kilometres (98 mi)
  • In the Berlin trial, the average Mini E remained stationary for over five hours in 80 percent of the cases while being charged and most of the customers only charged their vehicles only two or three times a week. U.S. participants were more likely to charge up every night.
  • Before the test, drivers said they expected range and charging time limitations to be a problem, however, during the actual trials these issues were only felt to be limitations in very few specific cases.
  • In the Berlin test, BMW decided to compare how people drive an electric car to how they drive a more traditional model. For this purpose they identified willing applicants who had either a BMW 116i or a Mini Cooper and put data loggers in those vehicles. The results showed that vehicle usage of the Mini E only differs marginally from that of comparable Mini Cooper and BMW 116i trips.
UC Davis study
2009 U.S. EPA's fuel economy label for the Mini E

In May 2011 the Plug‐in Hybrid & Electric Vehicle (PH&EV) Research Center at the University of California, Davis published the results of a consumer study of the U.S. Mini E field trial. The study is based on surveys and interviews conducted with more than 120 families who leased the electric car for the period of June 2009 to June 2010.[1][35] Some of the key findings of the consumer study are the following:[1][35][36]

  • 95% of the respondents drove fewer than 80 miles (130 km) a day; and 71% drove fewer than 40 miles (64 km).
  • The study shows that households adapted their driving around the capabilities of the electric car, and respondents said the MINI E met 90% of their daily driving needs.
  • Many drivers found that having limited cargo space and only two seats was more restrictive than the limited range.
  • Cold weather had a significant impact on drivers in the New York and New Jersey areas, which suffered a particularly harsh winter during the study period. These drivers discovered an unacceptable drop in the vehicles' range when using the heater.
  • In California, though infrequent, hot weather during August 2009 resulted in range loss and battery thermal management problems that required attention from BMW.
  • Most drivers reported initial difficulties in mastering the MINI E aggressive regenerative braking system which is integrated into the accelerator pedal. However, all drivers said that once they learned to like the system, they discovered that they could travel more smoothly, and learned to control almost all acceleration and braking events with one pedal. They also discovered, thanks to the display panel information, that they recovered energy proportional to their expertise with the single pedal.
  • 99% of respondents found home charging easy to use.
  • 71% of respondents said they were more likely now to purchase an electric vehicle than they were a year ago, and only 9% said they are less likely.
  • 88% of respondents said they are interested in buying a battery electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle in the next five years.
Oxford Brookes University

In August 2011 BMW published the results of the UK trials. The findings are based on the 40 test cars driven by 62 members of the public and 76 pool users, who together drove 258,105 miles (415,380 km) over two six-month periods. The data was collected electronically and the research was carried out by Oxford Brookes University. The following are some of the main findings:[26]

  • The Mini Es logged a daily journey distance of 29.7 miles (47.8 km), slightly more than the 26.5 miles (42.6 km) recorded by the control cars, a mix of Mini Coopers and BMW 116i models. The UK average daily distance driven for private cars overall is less than 25 miles (40 km).
  • The average cost to charge over 6 months was GB£60, representing less than 2 pence per mile.
  • Drivers did not charge their Mini E every night. The average was 2.9 times a week. Most charged at home, with 82% using their wall-mounted charging box 90% of the time.
  • Four out of five people reported that 80% of their trips could be done exclusively in the Mini E, and this increased to 90% saying that with the addition of rear seats and a bigger boot, all their trips could have been done in the Mini E.
  • 84% of the drivers said that the severe low temperatures during both phases of the field trial affected the distance that could be driven between charges, but despite that, four out of five participants told the researchers they thought the Mini E was suitable for winter use.
  • When asked for suggestions to deal with the potential danger from the low noise at low speeds, more than half (56%) said that instead of an artificial noise, the driver should pay more attention. However just over a quarter (28%) said they’d like to have a warning noise below 12.5 miles per hour (20.1 km/h).
  • The trial found that one week was all that was needed for customers to adapt to the characteristics and peculiarities of driving an EV, such as charging, range, regenerative braking and low noise.
  • For fleet users who swapped out of their regular car reported that the Mini E was fine for 70% of journeys made during the working day, while the pool car success rate was even better with between 80-90% of regular trips achievable

Range record

As part of the 21st Century Automotive Challenge held at Penn State University on May 23, 2010, the Mini E #466 achieved the longest trip in such electric car to date, achieving 147.3 miles (237.1 km).[citation needed] The Mini E went on to win the competition in efficiency. The competition traversed three mountain ranges in the rain.[citation needed]

Alternative electric Mini

Nevada’s Hybrid Technologies has started production of its electric-powered BMW Mini Cooper all-lithium model. The new electric Mini uses Hybrid Tech’s own proprietary advanced lithium management and battery-balancing system. Top speed is only around 80 mph (130 km/h) but driving at a slower speed preserves battery-life and means owners will be able to travel up to 120 miles (190 km) on a single charge.[37]

EVTV.ME has published a free "how-to" series of videos documenting their conversion of a 2009 Mini Cooper Clubman to electric drive.[38] The project uses a more powerful AC induction motor from MES-DEA and TIMS600 controller to provide 177 lb·ft (240 N·m) of torque. It uses 112 readily available Sky Energy 100Ah LiFePO4 cells to provide an energy storage of 40.3 kWh and a range of 125 miles (201 km). Top speed of 120 mph (190 km/h). This is an open source project using parts readily available to anyone from existing suppliers and intended for those inclined to do their own conversion of an existing 2009 Mini Cooper Clubman.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Turrentine, Thomas S., Dahlia Garas, Andy Lentz, Justin Woodjack (2011). "The UC Davis MINI E Consumer Study". Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis. http://pubs.its.ucdavis.edu/publication_detail.php?id=1470. Retrieved 2011-06-14.  Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-11-05
  2. ^ a b c d e Tom Murphy (2010-05-19). "Mini E Only Beginning of BMW EV Strategy". Wards Auto. http://wardsauto.com/ar/mini_bmw_ev_100519/. Retrieved 2010-06-13. 
  3. ^ a b c d Joe Lorio (May 2010). "Green: Rich Steinberg Interview". Automobile Magazine. http://www.automobilemag.com/green/news/1005_rich_steinberg_interview/index.html. Retrieved 2010-06-12. 
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  5. ^ a b c "BMW Delivers 40 Electric MINI E Cars for UK Trial". Green Car Congress. 2009-12-14. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/12/minie-20091214.html. Retrieved 2009-12-25. 
  6. ^ a b c Peter Whoriskey (2009-12-24). "Recharging and other concerns keep electric cars far from mainstream". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/23/AR2009122303463.html?sub=AR. Retrieved 2009-12-25. 
  7. ^ Abuelsamid, Sam (2008-10-18). "LA Preview: Officially, official: the MINI E!". Autobloggreen.com. http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/10/18/la-preview-officially-official-the-mini-e-does-it-use-a-tesl/. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
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  9. ^ Taylor III, Alex (March 30, 2009). "Bavaria's Next Top Model". Fortune 159 (6): 102. 
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  11. ^ Press release from AC Propulsion[dead link]
  12. ^ a b John O'Dell (September 2009). "BMW Learing Lessons From Mini E Tes". Edmunds. http://blogs.edmunds.com/greencaradvisor/2009/09/bmw-learing-lessons-from-mini-e-test---pay-attention-to-infrastructure-is-big-one.html. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
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  15. ^ a b c "Mini Says Half of Last Year's Mini E Lessees Renewed for Another Year". Edmunds.com. 2010-05-12. http://blogs.edmunds.com/greencaradvisor/2010/05/mini-says-half-of-last-years-mini-e-lessees-renewed-for-another-year.html. Retrieved 2010-06-12. 
  16. ^ Phil Patton (2010-07-03). "Envisioning a Small Electric BMW for the World’s Very Big Cities". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/04/automobiles/04MEGACITY.html?_r=1&ref=automobiles. Retrieved 2010-07-03. 
  17. ^ Abuelsamid, Sam (2008-11-06). "MINI E will reportedly cost $850/month for one-year lease — Autoblog Green". Autobloggreen.com. http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/11/06/mini-e-will-reportedly-cost-850-month-for-one-year-lease/. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  18. ^ "creative projects, competitions, events, thoughts and ideas, by MINI". MINI Space. http://minispace.com. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  19. ^ "State and Federal Incentives for EVs, PHEVs and Charge Stations". Plug In America. http://action.pluginamerica.org/t/5960/content.jsp?content_KEY=5545. Retrieved 2010-05-29. 
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  21. ^ a b c Chris Wright (2010-06-03). "UK: Harsh winter provides valuable Mini EV feedback". Just Auto. http://www.just-auto.com/news/harsh-winter-provides-valuable-mini-ev-feedback_id104628.aspx?lk=emf. Retrieved 2010-06-13. 
  22. ^ Autoactu.com (2011-01-24). "Marché du véhicule électrique en France en 2010: tous les chiffres!" (in French). Automobile Prope. http://www.automobile-propre.com/2011/01/24/chiffre-ventes-voitures-electrique-2010-france/. Retrieved 2011-10-09. 
  23. ^ "BMW Group and Vattenfall Europe begin second phase of MINI E fleet test in Berlin". Green Car Congress. 2011-03-31. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/03/bmw-20110331.html. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  24. ^ "BMW Group Taking Applications for MINI-E Trial Drivers in Munich". Green Car Congress. 2010-05-10. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2010/05/munchen-20100510.html. Retrieved 2010-06-12. 
  25. ^ Zaher Karp (May 2010). "Upcoming Munich MIni E Trial". PluginCars.com. http://www.plugincars.com/upcoming-munich-mini-e-trial.html. Retrieved 2010-06-12. 
  26. ^ a b c d e f "BMW Group releases results of UK-supported EV trial". Green Car Congress. 2011-08-05. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/08/minie-20110805.html. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
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  28. ^ Anthony ffrench-Constant (2009-10-29). "MINI E review: The all-electric version of the MINI is being trialled in Britain". The Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/green-motoring/6452749/MINI-E-review.html. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  29. ^ "Mini E Goes on Field Trial in China". ChinaAutoWeb.com. http://chinaautoweb.com/2011/02/mini-e-goes-on-field-trial-in-china/. 
  30. ^ a b c Lawrence Ulrich (2010-03-25). "Gas-Pump Freedom (Restrictions Apply)". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/28/automobiles/autoreviews/28MINI.html?scp=1&sq=Mini%20E&st=cse. Retrieved 2010-04-10. 
  31. ^ Jorn Madslien (2010-06-03). "What is it like to live with an electric car?". BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/10138911.stm. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  32. ^ a b Stephen Williams (2010-03-19). "BMW Preaches Sustainability in Munich and New York". New York Times. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/19/bmw-preaches-sustainability-in-munich-and-new-york/?scp=4&sq=Mini%20E&st=cse. Retrieved 2010-04-10. 
  33. ^ Jim Motavalli (2010-03-16). "Home Charging for Electric Vehicle: Costs Will Vary". New York Times. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/16/home-charging-for-electric-vehicle-costs-will-vary/?scp=6&sq=Mini%20E&st=cse. Retrieved 2010-04-10. 
  34. ^ Sebastian Blanco (2010-07-02). "In depth: BMW Megacity Vehicle and Project I". AutoblogGreen. http://green.autoblog.com/2010/07/02/in-depth-bmw-megacity-vehicle-and-project-i/. Retrieved 2010-07-31. 
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  36. ^ Christine Tierney (2011-06-14). "Quake's effects may delay U.S.-built Leaf". Detroit News. http://www.detnews.com/article/20110614/AUTO01/106140334/1148/Quake%E2%80%99s-effects-may-delay-U.S.-built-Leaf. Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  37. ^ James Martinez. "All-lithium electric Mini Cooper enters production". MotorAuthority. http://www.motorauthority.com/all-lithium-electric-mini-cooper-enters-production.html. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  38. ^ "EVTV.ME Electric car conversion videos". Web.me.com. http://web.me.com/mjrickard/. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 

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