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What is better than a Mini?



An electric Mini of course!! I just love the mini and if I didn’t have to cart around 5 kids all the time I would definitely own one. Early next decade, BMW of North America plans to sell an electric “megacity car” as a sub-brand of BMW, similar to the brand’s M high-performance cars. But further details are skimpy.

electric mini picture

BMW already is preparing for that launch. Its yearlong trial with the Mini E electric car has opened the auto marketer’s eyes to the maze of regulations facing plug-in electric cars.

“We are learning a heck of a lot just about the sheer infrastructure,” says Jim O’Donnell, CEO of BMW of North America. “When we bring out another electric car, we will be in a great position because we know all the wrinkles.”

BMW has 450 Mini E electric cars running in a yearlong trial in metropolitan New York, New Jersey and Los Angeles. There should be more cars on the roads. But after more than six months of addressing regulatory hurdles, Mini has yet to get approval to install more than 30 additional fast-charge boxes in New Jersey. With a 240-volt box, the Mini E can be recharged in three hours rather than the 21 hours needed using 110-volt power.

“If you are in a house with a normal supply and you want to bring a 240-volt [charger], you have to have an agreement from the power utility,” O’Donnell says. “New Jersey is the most difficult because there are so many local authorities.”

An inspector from each municipality has to approve the installation to make sure it complies with local codes. The cost of the box ranges from $1,500 to $1,800. The box had to be approved by Underwriters Laboratories Inc.

What O’Donnell calls “the New Jersey problem” is compounded because “all the components are certified, but they say the system isn’t certified,” he says. A BMW spokesman says the Mini E experience is a prelude to a more widespread launch of electric vehicles. I just gotta get me one of these beauties, maybe when I retire.

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Date
October 2nd, 2009

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10 Comments

  1. Yes this is true I find that the only down side to the car itself is the fact that it isn’t big enough but then the whole meaning of the word ‘mini’ would just be forgotten. Also all sites I look at that talk about electric cars never include the negatives about owning such a car. It has been said that electric cars for sale can damage the environment nearly double the amount of a diesel vehicle would produce when the fossil fuels are taking into account that are used to power electric.


  2. Not much is better except a Smart Car, which is economical for obvious reasons.


  3. Oh, i love this car, it’s so convenient, if i ever buy a car it would be a kind of mini.


  4. Some of the resistance to adopting electric cars more has been the false perceptions. One is that they are not fast. Well, with several electric car companies, including Telsa and Mini, proving this one wrong people are starting to think they are better than they thought


  5. I like the Mini. I’m not sure about an electric Mini though. I drive a diesel that gets 42 MPG city and 49 MPG highway. The VW TDI is a clean diesel. The problem with an electric is that the electricity is generated somewhere. Better to get electricity that is generated by a clean source.


  6. I like the idea of this mini car. Maybe it will be a big hit when it launches.


  7. I think the Smartcar is better. Save money on gas of course!


  8. The mini is really cute! I would take this car over the Smart car any day!


  9. This car looks awesome! I would love to drive this car!


  10. Being a big fan of minis myself, totally loved the post! However its seems this version of the BMW Mini would not necessary be the best option in economical terms, but would love to get my hands on one for a spin!!


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