Greenpeace has calculated that each of the 50 electric Minis tested in Berlin emits 133.5 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer driven, because the electricity used to recharge the vehicles' batteries is generated by coal-burning power plants.
That's 29.5 grams more than the Mini Cooper D. In the US, where 450 Minis Es will soon take to the road, the estimated carbon dioxide emission is expected to be even higher.
Look, I'm totally OK with saying that electric vehicles are not really "zero emission" unless you're using renewable energy, but c'mon. Automaker CO2 emissions numbers are based on what comes out of the tailpipe. If Reinking wants to count what happens before the energy/fuel gets to the car, then he needs to add in all the CO2 that is generated by producing and shipping the fuel for the Mini Cooper D. EVs have their problems, and they are certainly not magic rides that will make everything perfect. But mistakes (or intentional muddying of the waters) like what Reinking does here don't help. Although, maybe this is exactly what Reinking needs to make sure he's right about that 2025 date.
For more on the long wait for electric vehicles, see our 2006 post on the history of EVs and the gallery below.