• Sep 21st 2008 at 12:10PM
  • 6
We learned just a few months ago that BMW was preparing to build a fleet of 500 battery-powered MINIs that it would unleash for field testing in California. When we spoke to MINI USA VP Jim McDowell in July, the U.S. staff had been caught as off-guard by the announcement as we had and they didn't know any technical details of the new EVs. However, CAR magazine in the UK has managed to snag some photos of what appears to be an electric MINI prototype. The car in the photos has the standard MINI Cooper S rear bumper but is conspicuously missing the dual tailpipes that normally sit in that indentation in the middle. CAR is also reporting that BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer will unveil the MINI EV at the LA Auto Show in November. All but 10 of the initial batch of 500 cars are expected to be leased to the public beginning in mid-2009 with the others reserved for internal company use. BMW still hasn't revealed any technical details of the car, but hopefully we'll know something soon. All we know so far is that the word "Erprobungsfahrzeug" appears on the signage on the doors and tailgate of the car in the photos. We translate that to mean "test vehicle."
UPDATE: German word fixed.

[Source: CAR]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Aren't there laws against cyber squatting?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Pimp your site elsewhere toolbox!

      This is fantastic news, even if it is only in one state and only a limited few cars. The PML electric Mini really caught my interest but a factory version, albeit not likely to perform nearly as well, will be a more refined and cost-effective solution.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Removing the ice+transmission+gears differential+mufflers+
      radiators and adding a battery plus electric motors is an easy task.

      I expect this car to cost 5 000$ less then the gasoline version.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Only if you are willing to accept limited performance and range. Since the target market is looking for sporty performance, they will have to use a larger more powerful battery, pushing the EV MINI price a few thousand dollars above the base MINI price.

        By the way, a single motor and motor controller plus differential costs less than two motors and two motor controllers. Differentials just don't cost that much.
        • 7 Years Ago
        In addition to Chris M, I say the batteries aren't going to be cheap either. It is highly likely this will use some sort of lithium battery and a decent sized one for 100 mile range will easily cost $10k or more, esp. given the low 500 unit volume.
      • 7 Years Ago
      A small correction if I may:
      "Erpobungsfahrzeug" is missing an "r".
      -> "Erprobungsfahrzeug"
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