BMW and MINI are heavily involved with the 2012 London Olympics. They’re officially handling much of the transportation logistics for the games, and they even participated in the opening ceremonies. The BMW Group fleet involved in the games has been mostly electric, with MINI Es coming out of retirement, as well as BMW ActiveE vehicles taking people to and fro. Turns out, however, there’s one more flavor of electric MINI getting involved in the games, and it’s the most mini MINI yet: a 1/4 scale radio controlled MINI hatch.
This Green Car Reports story about a particularly enthusiastic group of MINI drivers who recently got together found its way to the MF inbox recently. The group gathered at Nauna’s Bella Casa Restaurant in Montclair, NJ to celebrate the end of the MINI E trials before the time came to hand in their electric MINIs. Tom Moloughney, owner of Nauna’s Bella Casa and MINI E alum, hosted the event after clocking more than 65,000 miles in a MINI E of his own. The sentiment among attendees was a bittersweet mix of sadness in having to hand back George Jetson’s MINI, and excitement that even better electric cars are in the works from BMW. continued →
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. continued →
The second UK trial of MINI’s all-electric Cooper has come to a close. With 40 “pioneer” participants handing in their keys at Plant Oxford, this second round of the MINI E trials closes another chapter in BMW/MINI’s extensive electric vehicle testing program. With both the BMW i3 and i8 cars forthcoming, this program has been critical in getting real-world data essential to building EVs that are truly viable road cars. continued →
Nay-sayers against electric vehicles are convinced that cold weather will sap the batteries of all their usefulness. New Jersey resident Tom Moloughney and his MINI E have something to say about that. Tom has logged almost 50,000 miles in his MINI E, commuting around 2500 miles a month. That includes plenty of cold slogs to the office. Tom’s motoring log shows only about a 5% loss in battery power due to frigid weather, not the 50% The Washington Posts‘ Charles Lane recently speculated for EVs. That, in a prototype vehicle without any supplementary battery warming tech. The future for EVs looks bright, even in the great white north.
Unveiled at the Essen Motor Show, this MINI E in police guise is the creation of german tuning shop AC Schnitzer. Why make MINI E into a faux police car? It’s part of a safe tuning campaign put on by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport and the german tuning community. Basically, the home of the autobahn wants people to trick out their rides, but still keep them safe and legal. The MINI E in the video features customized bodywork and interior details. Will the german smokies order up a fleet of electric MINIs? Probably not, but at least now the tuners at AC Schnitzer can impersonate police officers with a minimum carbon footprint.
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