For the unfamiliar on this side of the Atlantic, the city of London tries to keep traffic congestion down in the heart of the city by charging certain kinds of vehicles a Congestion Charge of as much as Â£10 a day to be in certain areas of the city. However, if you drive a high-efficiency or zero-emission vehicle such as a hybrid or a MINI E, the charge is waived. The good news for MINI One D and Cooper D owners is that London mayor Boris Johnson has just announced revamped Congestion Charge regulations that now count these high-efficiency MINIs as exempt from Congestion Charges starting in January 2011. Given the numbers, it’s not surprising why. continued →
Official Release: MINI is planning to have heaps of fun at the 2010 Goodwood Festival of Speed from July 1st to 4th. Apart from displaying the full range of the current MINI models, the quintessentially British MINI brand will mix old and new as befits a 51 year old hell raiser. Goodwood will be the venue where MINIâ€™s glorious past meets the brandâ€™s exciting future.
MINI E Race to set electrifying pace
Monte Carlo Rallying legend, and one of the original â€˜Flying Finnsâ€™, Rauno Aaltonen will drive the MINI E Race up the hill at Goodwood.
The Festival will be the first in the UK to host the appearance of the MINI E Race, a modified race-equipped version of the emissions-free MINI currently undergoing road trials in the UK, USA and Germany.
This video was taken at the initial run of the MINI E around the ‘Ring last April. At the time you may remember there was some excitement over the 9:51 time it recorded. While that mark isn’t exactly GTR shattering, it is relatively impressive for an electric car that’s currently being used as a field study. continued →
MINI will be once again tackling the famed NÃ¼rburging with it’s race modified MINI E. The event will be before the famed 24 Hours of Nurburgring and will take place immediately following the MINI Challange support race next Saturday. Check back on the day of the event (May 22nd) for video of the lap.
Official Release: A month ago, the MINI E Race became the first electrically-powered vehicle to tame the legendary NÃ¼rburgring-Nordschleife at race speed. Now the BMW Group is about to repeat this tour de force before the massed ranks of spectators at the 24-hour endurance race â€“ relying on blue blood to accomplish it. This Saturday, 15 May, His Royal Highness Prince Leopold of Bavaria will get behind the wheel to clock up a fast â€“ but virtually noiseless â€“ lap of the â€œGreen Hellâ€.
The MINI E is really nothing more than a test bed for BMW. But it’s a rolling test bed that performs at a level above almost any electric car on the road. Yes it’s no Tesla. I can personally verify that the insanity of putting your foot down in the Tesla is nowhere to be found in the MINI E. Neither is the range with only 100 miles full topped up with electricity (vs almost 200 for the Tesla). But what the MINI E does do is bring electricity to the masses.
It may be hard to see that now since they are simply leased vehicles ($850 a month) but if you look at the cost of the Tesla it’s apparent that the MINI E is coming to market at a lower price-point while offering a similar zero emissions experience.
Tomorrow I’ll be driving the MINI E for the first time. While Michael reviewed the car last year, tomorrow will mark the first time I’ve actually been behind the wheel. And while I can’t wait to experience the rolling test bed myself, I’d also like to hear from you. So do you have questions about the MINI? Sound off below and I’ll make sure they get answered in our upcoming review.
Official UK Release: The search is on for 20 drivers to take part in phase two of a pioneering trial to test the UKâ€™s first ever electric MINIs. Phase one of the trial is currently underway, the first 20 MINI E pioneers took ownership of their electric MINIs in December 2009 and are due to hand them back in June.
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