Study: MINI E Meets Daily Needs for 90% of Trial Participants
Ever wonder if an electric car could really work in your daily driving routine? Take heart, a recently released study from UC Davis and BMW Group found that the MINI E met the daily driving needs of 90% of the trial participants. The study also found that 95% of participants drove fewer than 80 miles in a given day. In terms of commuting and even general errand running, this isn’t particularly surprising, but the results are noteworthy because of most people’s so-called “range anxiety.” Read the full summary after the jump.
[Official Release] The University of California, Davis and the BMW Group today released the largest publicly available study of electric-car users ever conducted â€“ including over 120 families who drove the fully electric MINI E automobile more than 1 million miles in California, New York and New Jersey from June 2009 to June 2010. The report shows that the participants found the cars to be fun yet practical, easy to drive and recharge, and many said they would buy an electric car in the next five years, according to UC Davis researchers.
As battery electric vehicles (BEVs) enter the commercial marketplace for the first time, the results of this year-long study by the UC Davis Plug-in Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center provide valuable insight into new ways that consumers value BEVs.
Through online and telephone surveys of the participating households, and diaries and in-person interviews with a subset of more than 40 households, the UC Davis MINI E research team examined user behavior, infrastructure use, costs, environmental benefits, and other aspects of electric driving.
Among the key findings of the study are the following:
- 100% of respondents said BEVs are fun to drive and practical for daily use
- Respondents said the MINI E met 90% of their daily driving needs
- 71% of respondents drove fewer than 40 miles/day; 95% drove fewer than 80 miles
- 99% of respondents said home charging was easy to use
- 71% of respondents said they are now more likely to purchase a BEV than they were a year ago while only 9% said they are less likely.
- 88% of respondents said they are interested in buying a BEV or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle in the next five years
By the end of the lease period, MINI E drivers overwhelmingly thought that the electricity for charging their BEV should come from renewable resources such as solar, wind and hydropower, and were strongly opposed to using coal to generate electricity for their vehicles.
The UC Davis study is part of a whole set of studies being conducted by the BMW Group on electric vehicles, which includes research in China, Germany and the U.K.
Compelling combination of â€œclean and funâ€
UC Davis Plug-in Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center director Tom Turrentine said the study highlights three new and potentially significant ways that drivers value BEVs. First, the MINI E meets driversâ€™ desire for a vehicle that is both environmentally friendly and fun to drive. Drivers loved the vehicleâ€™s quick acceleration and quiet operation.
â€œWhat we heard over and over again in our interviews is how fun it was to drive. Thatâ€™s in part because itâ€™s a MINI and in part because of the feel of electric drive,â€ Turrentine said.
Second, drivers find value in using electricity as a fuel and in mastering their individual energy use through efficient driving behaviors. â€œThe combination of limited onboard energy and extreme efficiency make BEVs the premier appliance for people to experience energy use,â€ says Turrentine. Additionally, the drivers learned to appreciate the carâ€™s powerful regenerative braking function, which returns energy to the battery and allowed them to drive using a single pedal for acceleration and braking.
Third, drivers like to develop their clean driving territory. â€œDrivers start talking about the MINI E as a special way to explore their region. They of course can go anywhere in their gas car, but they like to talk about where they can go in their MINI E,â€ Turrentine says.
â€œRange anxietyâ€ not a big issue for experienced MINI E drivers
While range is often held up as a limitation of BEVs, the MINI Eâ€™s range of around 100 miles was acceptable to most drivers most of the time. â€œWe found that households adapted their driving around the capabilities of the vehicle and even explored ways to maximize the use of the MINI E,â€ said Turrentine.
By studying the MINI E driversâ€™ usage patterns and need for range, researchers were able to determine that strategic placement of charging stations could allow drivers to reach most of their desired destinations using a BEV that has a range of 90 to 100 miles. Most charging occurred at home, at night, and 99% of respondents said home charging was easy to use.
BMW Group prepares 2nd phase of its EV strategy with BMW ActiveE
â€œThe MINI E studies are extremely valuable for us as they show that electric cars are already today offering an attractive mobility solution to a broader spectrum of customers. While reducing the tail pipe emissions to zero, the MINI E provides the fun that users expect when driving our products. The results of the UC Davis study have a direct impact on the development of all BMW Group electric vehicles to come,â€ says Ulrich Kranz, head of project i, BMW Group. â€œBMW Group now is developing the next generation of full electric cars, with the BMW ActiveE test fleet coming into the market in 2011 and the series production BMW i3 following in 2013.â€
The all-electric BMW ActiveE will be available in select US markets beginning in late 2011, for a two-year lease at $499/month, with a $2,250 down payment. Details can be found at www.BMWUSA.com/ActiveE. Join the growing conversation about the future of mobility at www.BMWActivetheFuture.com.
Written By: Nathaniel Salzman
Sort by MINI model
- Chief Motorer Challenges All MINI Owners
- MINI’s Top Secret 300 HP All Wheel Drive Plans
- Faces of MINI Takes The States
- YoungDrive! Program Lets UK Kids Learn to Drive MINIs
- Q&A with MINI USA Product Manager Chris Potgieter
- Video: Watch Tony Hawk Kick Off MTTS 2014
- Worldwide MINI Sales See Best July Ever in 2014
- MINIs of Munich: Touring the City and MINI Showroom
- MTTS 2014: The Final Day (w/Gallery)
- MF Exclusive: Early Look at the F56 JCW Engine Kit & Exhaust (w/Video)
MotoringFile on Instagram
- BF Video Track Review: The BMW M4 at Road America
- One of a Kind BMW i8 Fetches $825k at Auction
- BMWNA Delivers First i8s To a Wide Range of Well Known Buyers
- Chris Harris Drives the BMW M3
- BMW NA Announces Changes to 2015 Models & Maintenance
- Quick Take: Head to Head with the BMW M4 vs 1M
- BMW M4 Safety Car, M235i Racing and DTM M4 Sound-Off
- Burton Racing BMW 128i Takes Street Tuner Victory at Road America
- Jeremy Clarkson Reviews the BMW i8
- Worldwide BMW Motorrad Sales up +8.5%. Best July Sales Ever.
- Video: Building the BMW C Evolution
- First Ride: Vespa 946
- Video: The Vespa 946 Bellissima
- World Debut: The Vespa 946 Bellissima
- Corazzo Introduces Matching Leather Mens Jacket and Gloves
- Motorcycle USA Reviews the Suzuki Burgman 200
- Spoofing the Jean Claude Van Damme Truck Splits on Scooters
- Breaking: Genuine Recalling Stella 125 Automatics for Faulty ECUs
- Hands-on with the 2015 Vespa Sprint
- Scooter Cannonball Run: Day 10 & Wrap Up
MINI Model Cheat Sheet
R50: One & MC Hatch
R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F55: Five Door Hatch
F60: MINI Crossover
Advertise with MotoringFile
MotoringFile Buyers GuidesR50 ('02-'06 MC) Buyers Guide
R53 ('02-'06 MCS) Buyers Guide
'12 JCW Coupe
'11 Fiat 500 Sport
'11 Tesla Roaster 2.5 '11 Countryman Comparo
'11 Cooper S Hatch
'11 Countryman MCS (FWD)
'11 Countryman MC (auto)
'10 Mayfair MCS (auto)
'11 Countryman MCS (ALL4)
'10 MINI E
'10 Tesla Roadster Sport
'09 Cooper S Convertible
'09 JCW Hatch
'09 JCW Clubman
JCW Stage I vs JCW Stage II
'08 Clubman S (Auto)
1st Drive: '08 MINI Clubman
'08 Smart Fourtwo
Comparison: '08 BMW 135i
'06 R53 MCS vs '07 R56 MCS
'07 R56 JCW (Stage 1)
'07 MINI Cooper S Long Term
'07 BMW Z4 M Coupe
'07 MINI Cooper & Cooper S
Audio: '07 MC/MCS at the Track
'06 JCW GP Long term
Reader Review: JCW GP
'06 JCW Cooper S Long Term
Comparison: '06 Lotus Elise
Comparison: '06 Mazda MX5
Comparison: '06 UK Focus ST
Comparison: '06 Civic Si
Comparison: '04 TVR T350
Comparison: '06 Nissan 350z
Comparison: '06 VW GTI w/DSG
Podcast: Cooper S Auto
Podcast: BMW 325i
Podcast: JCW MC Soundkit
'04 JCW MINI Cooper Tuning Kit
'05 MCS: One Month Review
'05 MCS Auto
'05 JCW S 1st Drive
'05 MINI Cooper
'05 MCS Conv. Long Term
'05 MINI Cooper S
'05 MCS Cabrio 1st Drive
'04 JCW MCS First Drive
'04 MC w/JCW Tuning Kit
BMW M3 SMG Vs. MCS
'04 MINI Cooper CVT
'02 MCS 3 year Review
Autocrossing the MINI Range