With the second half of the Mini E's twelve-month long field trial in the UK underway, parent company BMW has decided that now is as good a time as any to release its so-called "objective data" obtained during the first three months of the Mini E's trial (December 2009 to February 2010). BMW interviewed Mini E drivers, compiled their answers and succinctly summed up the overall experience this way:
Statistics gleaned from the trials show that Mini E users traveled virtually the same distance per trip (8.5 miles) as people driving an otherwise typical vehicle in the UK (8.6 miles). With their average daily distance reaching 27.0 miles, Mini E drivers topped the 22.8 daily mileage number reported for the UK. Surprisingly, 87.5 percent of Mini E drivers agreed that a public charging infrastructure is necessary, but, oddly, some 75 percent then stated that they could make due without a comprehensive network of chargers. Hmm... Okay?Users liked Mini E's lack of noise, the convenience of home charging, low off peak power charges, not having to go to a gasoline station and queue, driving a zero emissions vehicle, MINI E's acceleration characteristics and regenerative braking. Drawbacks include current mileage range for certain journeys, limited carrying capacity and sub-optimal car performance during the extremely cold weather conditions in December 2009 and January 2010.
And here's something else worth mentioning. When prodded with this question: "Would this early experience with the Mini E encourage you to buy an electric vehicle?" The response was an overwhelming, but qualified, "yes." Complaints poured in regarding insufficient range, sub-optimal performance in cold weather, the need for another vehicle for long journeys and lack of interior space, showing that some of the drivers weren't all that impressed with the vehicle. Perhaps those that responded with a "yes" are enamored by EVs and thus willing to accept the vehicle's inherent limitations. Either that, or they're hopeful that future EVs are at least a bit more capable than the Mini E. Hit the jump for more electrifying results from the UK's Mini E pioneers. Hat tip to throwback!