Harsh winter gives BMW valuable feedback on electric MINI
The MINI E is the test bed for an all-electric model from BMW said to be launched in 2015.
According to news source headlineauto, MINI engineers have said that trials over the winter have shown that in very low temperatures, power output is diminished until the battery is "warmed-up" once in use. This is particularly the case if the car is not driven every day.
There have also been issues with exterior charging points as winter temperatures dipped dramatically. One stopped charging completely due to a problem with a sensor, which has now been cured.
The MINI Es were also equipped with winter tyres to help provide traction – the feedback from users was that the cars performed "like 4x4s".
MINI's UK sales and marketing director Jochen Goller said that 40 electric models have been trialled with private and fleet users in the UK, with the first phase of testing now coming to an end. A second phase will begin in September this year and will run to March 2011.
He added: 'We have yet to fully analyse the results but the data will give us an idea of average daily trips and mileages and where people want to charge their cars – either at home or at the office. The feedback we are getting is that the longer people live with the cars, the less anxious they become about the issue of range.
'People seem happy with the range of around 100 miles and are confident in terms of travelling 80 or even 90 miles.'
Mr Goller said that the MINI E trials will soon be extended to Paris and Beijing.