• Sep 18, 2010
Mini E – Click above for high-res image gallery

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:
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.
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?

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!



[Source: BMW Group]

PRESS RELEASE

ELECTRIFYING RESULTS FROM UK MINI E PIONEERS


As the second half of the twelve month MINI E field trial begins this week, the outcome of interviews and objective data collected from the first three months, of the December to June 2010 phase of the trial has now been analysed. The key results show that MINI and the BMW Group are gleaning valuable learning that will help shape the specification and operating characteristics of its Megacity vehicle which will make its debut in 2013.

The key findings from the first six months of the UK field trial are as follows:
  • MINI E usage differs only marginally from a control group of MINI Cooper and BMW 116i drivers in terms of average journey distance, daily mileage and frequency of use.
  • Before the trials began, users expected limitations in terms of range and charging times. In practice these have only proved to be barriers in a very few specific cases.
  • Users felt reassured that both the MINI E itself and the charging process are completely safe.
  • There was a very strong feeling from both private and fleet users that renewable energy should play an important role in future electricity generation. There was also a strong feeling that the battery of an electric vehicle (EV) should be charged using renewables to optimise the ecological advantages of an EV.
  • The BMW Group is trusted to provide a technically mature solution to the challenges presented by EVs.
  • Users reported a need for more interior space for journeys requiring more passengers and more storage capacity.
  • Users felt strongly that public charging facilities for EVs were desirable and even essential. However, at the same time, the majority claimed that they coped without public charging facilities.
  • In summary, users liked MINI E's lack of noise, the convenience of home charging, low off peak power charges, not having to go to a petrol 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.
MINI E average trip distance mirrors that of cars in the same segment

The National Travel Survey reveals that the average single trip length for car users in the UK is 8.6 miles, a distance almost exactly matched by MINI E drivers at 8.5 miles. Using the same survey data, 90 per cent of all trips are 15 miles or under, while another eight per cent are between 20 and 35 mile. Only two per cent are above 35 miles. Using a control group of MINI Cooper and BMW 116i customers these statistics are reinforced, MINI Cooper drivers averaging 7.3 miles and 116i drivers only 6.8 miles. The conclusion to be drawn from this is that there are no objective limitations on average daily use for MINI E drivers.

The same conclusions can be drawn by analysing average daily distance driven. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirms that 22.8 miles is the average private daily mileage across the UK. For MINI Cooper and 116i it is 27.0 and 26.1 respectively while, again, MINI E experience slots right in the middle at 26.7 miles. The conclusion is that MINI E daily driving use matches cars in a similar segment almost exactly.

Reasons for non use

Naturally not all trips could be taken in the MINI E. Reasons quoted by users for not using their MINI E were for longer journeys (89 per cent said this had occurred for them) and limited space, either for carrying shopping or because they needed more than two seats. Lack of space was quoted by 67 per cent of users for not using MINI E on odd occasions. These are characteristics that the future Megacity vehicle will address.

Charged experiences

The process of charging MINI E from the charging box supplied and fitted at users' homes was convenient and appreciated by the MINI E pioneers. On average the cars were charged every two to three days. Two thirds of users charged their car three times a week or less while only six per cent charged daily. It is clear that users quickly adapted to charging overnight when electricity costs are cheaper and it also suited the daily routine of the drivers.

When asked whether users saw a need for a public charging infrastructure 87.5 per cent agreed that it is necessary, with only 12.5 per cent seeing no need. However 75 per cent of all users also said they could use their MINI E without a comprehensive charging infrastructure.

In summary the home charging was seen as safe and easy to operate, users easily adapted to a charging routine and most charged their MINI E overnight. Actual charging times were seen as efficient with some users becoming so happy with it they found it more convenient than having to queue up at a petrol station. Participants would like a public charging system but did not need to rely on one.

Renewable energy

All users, both fleet and private, feel that renewable energy generation should play an important role in future electricity generation. There is a similar agreement from users that it is important to charge the MINI E batteries with renewable energy with 100 per cent of fleet users and 89 per cent of private drivers holding this opinion. However, only 22 per cent of private, and 72 per cent of fleet, drivers thought that EVs should be exclusively powered by renewable energy.

The $64 million question - would they buy one?

Would this early experience of MINI E encourage the pioneers to buy an electric vehicle? The initial conclusion from the first phase of the trial is a resounding, but qualified, 'yes'. The MINI E drivers all appreciated the use of a zero-emissions car that removed emissions from their immediate environment, the reduced reliance on fossil fuels and the lower noise pollution inherent with an EV. They also appreciated the dynamic acceleration characteristics of MINI E and its regenerative braking performance.

There are, of course, barriers to a possible future purchase. Both the current driving range and the carrying capacity for passengers and cargo are viewed as limiting factors. Also, the sub-optimal performance of the car in very cold weather needs improvement.

On balance, though, all were convinced about the viability of electric vehicles in an everyday UK road environment and to a man, and woman, all claimed that taking part in this study had increased their enthusiasm to buy an EV as well as reducing the time frame in which they plan to do so.

There is the small question of price as well. Like all drivers their purchase intentions are price-sensitive. However almost half of the users stated that they would pay one third more than a conventional MINI in order to benefit from the advantages of a more sustainable form of personal mobility. This implies a UK acceptable price of around £16,000. The strength of purchase intention would be increased with improvements to luggage and passenger space.

" The early learning from this first stage of the MINI E trials has given us very positive feedback and pointers as to where we will need to improve" explained Jochen Goller, Director of MINI UK. "One has to remember that MINI E, despite being very thoroughly engineered for its task, is in the end a modified existing production MINI Hatch. An EV designed from the ground up will be able to address some of the criticism on packaging and driving range. That is precisely the reason we are holding these trials."

"We are very confident that the full 12 month trial under real road conditions with real people will help us greatly in producing an exciting and extremely efficient vehicle for the urban environments of the future" Goller continued. "We are truly grateful to the 80 pioneers who are helping to shape the future of the sustainable electric car. They are people who care about the future of our planet as much as they do about the mobility of its inhabitants" he concluded.

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of The Technology Strategy Board said,

"We created the Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator competition to act as a catalyst for industry, the public sector and academia to come together to create low emission vehicles and provide solutions to powering them. Many trials have already begun and it is planned that within the next six months around 340 vehicles will be on the UK's roads. The majority of the vehicles are electric, with a small number being plug-in petrol/electric hybrids. The information gained from this project will make an important contribution to the future plans of manufacturers and their partners, to develop low carbon vehicles for the mass market."

The future is Megacity

BMW Group's strategy to meet the needs for a sustainable future has four strands. Today, there are exceptionally efficient internal combustion engines, both diesel and petrol-powered, which are now being joined by hybrid technology taking an initial step towards the electrification of the driveline. The next step is a fully electric vehicle which will be available for customers in 2013. The Megacity Vehicle (MCV) combines all of BMW Group's expertise in lightweight engineering, electric drive technology and dynamic driving characteristics in one unique, ground-breaking vehicle.

BMW engineers are developing a revolutionary LifeDrive concept that comprises a completely new vehicle architecture adapted to the demands of future sustainable mobility. The entire powertrain, the electric motor, power electronics and the battery system, are all being developed in house. LifeDrive consists of two horizontally separated, independent modules. The Drive module integrates the battery, drive system and structural and crash functions into a single construction within the chassis. Its partner, the Life module, consists primarily of a high-strength and extremely lightweight passenger cell made from Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastics (CFRP). Furthermore, the new vehicle architecture opens the door to totally new production processes which are both simpler and more flexible, and use less energy.

Carbon fibre bodywork not only provides immense strength but is also extremely light. Using this form of construction will reduce car weight by 250 to 350kgs which in turn will offset almost all the extra weight created by the batteries. The Megacity will be the first volume-produced automobile to employ the significant benefits afforded by carbon technology.

The MINI E field trial is informing the design and development process for Megacity which will provide a practical, efficient and sustainable answer to the demand for zero-emissions urban mobility.

1. The MINI E is a two seat development of the familiar MINI Hatch. It is powered by a 204hp electric motor that also generates 220 Nm of torque. It is driven by battery power in the form of a sophisticated 35 kWh Lithium-Ion battery containing 5,088 cells. The battery can be charged by a special home charger supplied by consortium partner Scottish and Southern Energy. This enables a charge time of 2.4 hours at 50 amps. The MINI E has a top speed of 95mph and an official range of 149 miles (according to FTP72 standards), although a realistic range is 112miles.

1. The UK field trials mirror those taking place concurrently on the East and West coasts of the USA and in both Munich and Berlin. In the UK 40 examples of the MINI E have been operating for six months from late December 2009 until June 2010, 20 being private individuals and the balance with Corporate customers. The 40 MINI E Pioneers were selected from applicants in the South East of England. They are predominantly highly-educated males aged 35 and over, earning above average income and with a high level of interest in ecological issues. A second group of 40 take the MINI Es over in September 2010 and will run the cars in normal road conditions until March 2011.

1. This research information covers only the first three months with the first tranche of MINI E Pioneers.

1. The UK Consortium supporting the MINI E trials are Scottish and Southern Energy who supply the home charging technology and renewable energy, Oxford Brookes University who are analysing data from users, SEEDA who provide political support and advice and, of course, the BMW Group which supplies the MINI E, selects users and manages driver education.

The BMW Group

The BMW Group is one of the most successful manufacturers of automobiles and motorcycles in the world with its BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 24 production facilities in 13 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.

The BMW Group achieved a global sales volume of approximately 1.29 million automobiles and over 87,000 motorcycles for the 2009 financial year. The pre-tax profit for 2009 was euro 413 million, revenues totalled euro 50.68 billion. At 31 December 2009, the company employed a global workforce of approximately 96,000 associates.

The success of the BMW Group has always been built on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy. As a result of its efforts, the BMW Group has been ranked industry leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes for the last five years.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 28 Comments
      • 1 Day Ago
      Well, the lack of interior space is solved by real EVs (the Mini-E is just a gas EV conversion with a battery that takes up the entire back seat.).

      The range issues will remain . . . they are solved by having another car, renting a car, or a PHEV.

      The cold weather performance can be solved with a thermal management system for the the battery.

      And the big un-mentioned downside is the cost.

      Overall, it looks good.

      And the GM Volt PHEV model really looks like it will be the way to move the mainstream into EVs . . . no range issues, no worry about long recharge times, and no worries about cold weather . . . all due to the inclusion of a gasoline engine.
        • 1 Day Ago
        @ spec:
        On the contrary, I'm thinking it right to the very end. Have a glance at:

        http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/21155/ and
        http://www.ecofriend.org/entry/new-technology-generates-hydrogen-efficiently-from-water-using-sunlight/

        Perhaps you can think that to the end.
        • 1 Day Ago
        Hydrogen is NOT a fuel. It is energy carrier. The way it is created today is that the carbon is stripped out of natural gas (methane). That is pretty pointless. First of all, you are starting with a fossil fuel which claim to want to avoid. And that carbon is released into the atmosphere thereby contributing to climate change. And second, you lose some of the energy when you strip out the carbon so you are using the natural gas inefficiently.

        You need to think these things through fully.

        Oil is not the devil. We will continue to be using it for many many decades. But we should use it responsibly.
        • 1 Day Ago
        yeah a tiny 1 or 2-cylinder backup range extender does seem like a nice safety net for an EV.
        but the cost is not really an issue other than what they make it intetionally or through their obtuseness. lithium starts at around 250$/kWh these days so if you say 10kWh in an REEV and add some for packaging it could be 4000$. say we add that to a 9999$ Nissan Versa and subtract a 7500$ tax rebate (I pick the USA case because USAinians are ignorant of anything else and wouldn't understand otherwise) then price is not really an issue...

        and fossil oil is most certainly the devil. it's like saying we'll rape responsibly. there is no such thing, Spec. it has to go entirely.
        • 1 Day Ago
        I agree with most of what you have stated with the exception of gasoline RE. Listening on the grapevine, it is just a matter of time until Audi presents one of its EV models with a rotary fueled with H2. This would be a tolerable and affordable solution until FCs reach a price level where they could be ultimately combined with a battery as an unbeatable hybrid.
        The rotary is very efficient on hydrogen, is compact and light. I'd prefer to get away definitely from fossil fuels instead of continuosly polluting the environment. It is not just a matter of having sufficient crude oil; we must stop pollution and restrict the use of oil to sustainable and pollution free applications.
      • 1 Day Ago
      The MINI is a poor conversion candidate not just because of space but weight, it is very heavy for its size. I owned one and looked at converting and even the seats are like sacks of lead bricks, it's astonishing how much they weigh. I converted another modern car that was larger and hundreds less in weight. EVS need to be built form the ground up.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yeah. The camera analogy and the mobile phone are good ones.

      My first digital camera was a sony cybershot point and shoot with around 1.8megapixels with no optical zoom. I bought it for around £320 I think, similar problems with it being huge,not enough memory, shutter lag. I bought a canon Eos 350D for around the same price a couple of years ago. Also many film enthusiasts who swore they would never give film up have done in their droves.

      The latest L.G oled 3D TV thats 4mm thick, low power, one of the best pictures goes for $9k. I can buy a 32inch LED for £200 today
      • 1 Day Ago
      Okay, so we learned, battery warmers are good, people would like more space in their vehicle and would like the vehicles range to increase. The studies that say people don't drive far per average day were right. I knew before, what these guys know now, which leads me to belive this is just a way to get government handouts for BMW.

      The gas BMW trips were the same on average. People charge up every 3 days on average? Not me, everyday I charge or every night. More range would be great because, we need what we hardly ever use. People don't mind plugging in as oppose to stopping at a petrol station. Blah, blah,blah... Just produce a EV.
      • 1 Day Ago
      "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?"

      That's obvious: 87.5% of the people think of that 25% of people that can't make due without a comprehensive network of chargers. 75% of them can, but 25% is big enough number that all of them probably know at least one person that can't (actually 12.5% probably didn't know). So the obvious conclusion.

      Last paragraph is like from someone that is working on Big Oil. To me "lack of space" is inherent *Mini* feature (but that EV wasn't very well done in this respect either), lack of range is obviously not so big issue for at least 75% of them, and reduced performance in cold weather is something they probably *know* is not an issue in future. You even mention "lack of range" twice, just using two different ways of saying it. Range anxiety, Eric? "Complaints poured"? How about "When asked, vehicle limitations as seen by drivers were". Nowhere in that actual article is word "poured" or even "complaint".

      About better (four seater) Mini EV look at this:
      http://www.youtube.com/GearlessUK#p/u/2/scMd_5C-vOg
      As compared to this BMW Mini:
      http://www.youtube.com/fullychargedshow#p/u/7/ZDFghWn8d9A
      • 1 Day Ago
      "However almost half of the users stated that they would pay one third more than a conventional MINI in order to benefit from the advantages of a more sustainable form of personal mobility."

      The Leaf and the I-miev are only two to three times as much as a similar sized ICE. Still some way to go..... But a lot better than a € 120 000.= speedster.

      When Nissan and Mitsubishi crack open the market, the German factories might even stop testing and start building.
        • 1 Day Ago
        The Leaf is NOT "two to three times as much as a similar sized ICE". After the tax-credit, it is only about $9K more. And you'll earn that back in savings on gasoline.
        • 1 Day Ago
        The LEAF costs about the same as similarly sized and equipped conventional car, once you take the fed tax credit. Its loaded with many options.
      • 1 Day Ago
      cont-

      You may think that soon the situation will improve as the pressure mounts on the battery industry and the car makers to come up trumps. But don’t hold your breath.

      Normally, huge pressure solves everything. When we needed long-range planes in the war to bridge the Atlantic air gap and nail the U-boats, we had them in months. And then, just months after that, the Germans had developed a system that kept their subs underwater. Man can move fast when the chips are down. And because we are not moving fast on battery technology, because there has been no chemical breakthrough, we have to reason that the nut can’t be cracked.

      Is it really right to call an electric car a 'zero-emissions car' when the electricity used to charge it up comes from a power station? BMW talks only about significant progress in the coming years. General Motors has had to build a petrol engine into its “electric” car, the Vauxhall Ampera, to give it enough range.

      There are other issues, too. While the motor under the Mini’s bonnet has only one moving part and should therefore be reliable, the power pack in the back will one day need replacing. Think about that. It is extremely expensive to replace the two lithium-ion batteries in your laptop when they become doggy and tired, so can you imagine how much it would cost to buy 5,000 of the damn things? And that’s before we get to the bigger question: is it really right to call an electric car a “zero-emissions car” when the electricity used to charge it up comes from a power station?

      Then there’s the biggest question of all. In Britain there is a serious worry that we simply aren’t making enough electricity to cope with current demands. So what happens when 28m motorists get home at night and expect to be able to charge their cars? The system simply will not be able to cope.

      And in case you were thinking of installing a domestic windmill at your house to provide clean, free energy, consider this. Charging your Mini from such a thing would take 600 hours. That’s 25 days.

      The truth of the matter, then, is simple. The Mini E sits out there as a shining example of something that can’t be achieved. A glimpse into a future that won’t happen. The spearhead of an attack that will never come.
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Timo.
        My sentiments exactly, someone should send him a link to greencarcongress.com's battery section, he hasn't got a clue really, and the masses lap it up
        • 1 Day Ago
        As usual Clarkson doesn't know what he is talking about:

        "And because we are not moving fast on battery technology, because there has been no chemical breakthrough, we have to reason that the nut can’t be cracked. "

        Not if you don't count 10+times higher energy density using silicon nanowires and other advanced techs as breakthrough. _it has already been discovered_. All we need is to someone put all those inventions together in a reasonably priced package and we have that "battery breakthrough". Scientific breakthrough is done, rest is engineering challenge.

        Also that babbling about "taking 600 hours to charge", "not enough juice in grid" and stuff like that is just BS, as we all know. And he seems to be repeating the lie about Tesla Roadster getting low on battery, which BBC has admitted was a lie, there was quite a bit charge left in the battery when they "pushed the car in the garage to show what happens when you lose battery".

        The fact that Jeremy gives Mini E this good review should tell the more educated viewer that this car is really something.
      • 1 Day Ago
      I think owning an electric car at the beginning will be like those of us who bought the first digital cameras. We knew they took only passable photos, the shutter lag wouldn't have been acceptable in 1940, and they were ugly, but we all knew they were the future and would get better, so of course we were going to buy another one (or two, or three). I now have a DSLR that blows away every film camera I've ever owned, and I can do things I never imagined (like shoot in virtual darkness and make HD movies), and it's only been eleven years since I bought that first horrible Epson. It seems as though some detractors expect the electric car of 2015 to be the same car they are looking at now.
      • 1 Day Ago
      If these people are satisfied by a 2-seater, then they are so unlike the typical car buyer that I wonder if their feedback means anything about how most people use cars.
        • 1 Day Ago
        Can you still buy a regular cab pickup?

        You almost never see them anymore...
        • 1 Day Ago
        Tell that to everyone who still gets by just fine with a regular cab pickup as their personal vehicle.
      • 1 Day Ago
      anyone thats interested Jeremy clarksons review of it

      I suppose we should get straight to the point. The Mini E that you see in the pictures this morning is absolutely brilliant.

      Unlike the stupid Toyota Prius, which tries to win the environmental argument by wading into battle with two power sources, the Mini is propelled entirely by its batteries. And unlike the idiotic Reva G-Wiz, it doesn’t look as though it was made from bog seats as part of a sixth-form project. It looks like a car. So you don’t feel like a pious, mealy-mouthed sandal enthusiast as you drive about.

      Of course, it doesn’t feel like “a car” to drive. It feels different, odd, unusual. And in some ways, dare I say it, better. You get in, push the key into the slot, same as you do in a normal Mini, press the starter button, same as you do in a normal Mini, and then swear a little bit under your breath, same as you do in a normal Mini, because it starts telling you to put your seatbelt on.

      Other than the beeping nanny, though, there is no noise. You have started the motor but nothing, at least nothing audible, has happened. Warily, then, you put the one-speed gearbox into drive, press the accelerator and off you go.

      Then, when you get onto the open road, you press it some more and, boy, you really move. This is not just fast for an electric car; it is fast, full stop. The top speed may be limited to 95mph but 0-62 is dealt with in just 8.5 seconds.

      It feels faster because normally the experience is accompanied by sound. In the Mini E, it isn’t. And soundless speed doesn’t compute in our heads. It’s the stuff of nightmares. It’s the sound of falling from a tall building. I liked it a lot.

      The reason the Mini is so fast is simple. Electric motors produce a huge amount of torque, immediately, and at a constant level. There are no peaks and troughs like you get from internal combustion. Just 162 torques of grunt from the get-go. And 150kW of power. That equates to 201bhp. And that’s 10% more than you get from a Cooper S.

      To cope with the extraordinary power, the E is indeed fitted with Cooper S suspension, which, coupled to the wheel-at-each-corner layout, means you can be an eco-warrior while indulging in a spot of liftoff oversteer.

      Brakes? I don’t know. I never used them. This is because when you lift your foot from the throttle, the Mini uses the act of slowing down to trickle a bit of power back into the batteries. And that causes the car to slow dramatically. Coasting? It’s not in this thing’s vocabulary.

      And here’s the really juicy bit. When you’ve finished clowning around, you don’t have to give BP a hundred quid for the privilege of doing it all over again. You just plug your Mini into the wall socket and, in exchange for £1.50, Southern Electric will pump the batteries into life again. Even if you charge it up during the day when electricity costs more, it’s still only four quid.

      Now, of course, you may think that Tesla did all this ages ago. Well, I can’t be sure, because the first Tesla I tried ran low on battery power and, while it was being charged, lost its brakes. The second overheated. Whereas the Mini I tried worked perfectly.

      I suspect there’s a very good reason for this. Teslas are made by earnest young men on a mission to save the world. The Mini E is built by BMW. And call me old-fashioned but when it comes to making cars, serious German doctors of engineering tend to be better than a bunch of Californian surfer dudes who, like, you know, man, really kind of put the pelican first.

      This, however, does not mean the Mini is perfect. The first, and biggest, problem is that you can’t buy one now or indeed ever. It’s just a test-bed, designed to see if electric cars are viable.

      The second is range. And this is where the makers of all electric cars fall flat on their faces. In short, they fib. They say that the machine they’ve made can do, say, 200 miles between trips to the plug, and maybe, on the right day, this might just be possible. But in the real world, with hills and other traffic, it isn’t.
      • 1 Day Ago
      Remember that this was a test in the UK, where families without cars are far from uncommon, and two-car families much rarer than here in the US. Its a harder sell to make your only vehicle limited-range than it is to make one of them limited-range.

      Having said that, fuel costs are also correspondingly higher...
        • 1 Day Ago
        Aaah, you bring up a good point where it is harder for Europe to adopt EVs . . . they are more likely to be 1 car families. With only 1 car, you need that 1 car to handle all types of trips. In the USA, families will often have at least 2 cars (sometimes more). So it is easier to work an EV into the mix.
        • 1 Day Ago
        "With only 1 car, you need that 1 car to handle all types of trips."

        Only if you don't have a decent alternative for those trips. In Europe they have these things called "trains". They generally go faster than cars. Unless you're going camping or going to some really out-of-the-way destination, train travel is generally a viable alternative.
      • 1 Day Ago
      Tax credit? No such thing over here.

      Nissan Note starts at € 15 775 (after licensing fees, CO2 tax and VAT)
      Nissan Leaf starts at € 32 839

      Mitsubishi Colt, € 10 599
      Mitsubishi i-MiEV € 32 830
      Citroen C Zero / Peugot iOn, € 35 165 (same car as i-MiEV)
        • 1 Day Ago
        Where do you live? I'd think most European countries have some sort of EV tax incentive . . . at least free parking rights, carpool lane rights, etc.

        And what is the price of gas where you live? You will have a much bigger gasoline savings than a typical American that is only paying $2.75/gallon or so. (Yes, even if you have a really high electricity price, it will be dwarfed by the typical gasoline price.)

        I'm really curious about the European economic analysis of EVs. In some ways you have big advantages (already high gas prices and 220V electricity everywhere) but in other ways you don't have as much need (much better public transport, less people have long commutes, etc.).
        • 1 Day Ago
        If you live in Finland you not only don't have any EV tax incentive you actually pay extra tax for it not being a gas car. "käyttövoimavero" IE. "power source tax". And I heard an rumor that you need to pay extra tax for battery pack when you buy an EV here (which would explain the incredible price of 50kEUR for Think City). You get no benefits. Nothing.

        In that regard my otherwise high-tech country is in stone ages.
        • 1 Day Ago
        Those prices are in the Netherlands.

        Gasoline has been stable for the last six months around € 1.45-1.50 / liter ($ 7.125-7.38 / gallon us at todays rates)
        Electricity is € 0.2039 ($ .265) from 21:00 till 07:00, € 0.2387 ($ 0.31) peak.
        Energy mix; 25% coal, 50% methane, 17% renewable (mainly wood added to coal). Older plants run at 45%, new ones being build will get 58% efficiency.

        GNP was calculated by the IMF in 2005 to be € 30 900 ($ 38 618) in the NL, $ 42 000 in the US.
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