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Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Mini E Electric Concept Car
Image: © 2009 theirEarth.com

A Mini That You Plug-In When You Get Home

FRANKFURT, GERMANY - In our review of the 2009 Frankfurt International Motor Show this year, theirEarth News Media caught this image of the Mini E electric concept car. The Mini E electric car is a 2-seater with additional rear cargo space and is currently part of an electric car field study that BMW, Mini's parent company, is conducting in three countries. The trial geographic locations involved in the Mini E Electric study are the United States: New York / New Jersey metropolitan area, and the Los Angeles  / Orange County area. The other test locations are Germany in Berlin, and in the United Kingdom in the South East.

In the United States, individuals who have signed up for the Mini E electric car study undertake a one-year $850/month special rental through Mini Financial Services U.S.A., which includes full technical support from the factory and the Mini dealership network. The one-year rental also includes the installation of a high amperage wall mounted charging box in the customer's garage, and their involvement with a continual feedback process with Mini engineering to assess the vehicles performance. Individuals who wish to sign-up to the field test program can do so through the {www.mini.com} web site, where applications will be screened for eligibility. Up to 1000 Mini E's will be part of the field trial in the United States in the three metropolitan regions.

In Berlin, Germany, a similar Mini E electric car field study began on February 18, 2009, and a total of 100 Mini E's are part of the program there. In the United Kingdom, a Mini E trial study started in August 2009, and participants sign-up for the trial in a similar manner to the German and U.S. programs. All participants in the Mini E worldwide study must have a personal garage to park their car in order for Mini technicians to install a special factory wall outlet charger. Mini says that for the study, they have designed a charging routine that requires 100% home based charging of the Mini E. Using the supplied 50 ampere high-output charger, the electric Mini will obtain a full charge in about three hours.

Mini says that the Mini E electric car has a nominal range of 160-190 km (100-119 miles) off of a fully charged battery. Mini E field trial participants will need to live within a round trip distance to their homes that falls within the maximum range of the car.  

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