MINI E – Click above for high-res image gallery
BMW has handled its Mini E test program quite differently in the United States and Europe and at least one British test driver isn't happy. In America, people who signed up for the program were given one-year leases at the start of the program in 2009 and then got the option to sign up for a second year. In Europe, testers could only get a six-month lease with no extensions.
That difference has David Beesley annoyed. Beesley has been driving a Mini E near the factory in Oxford, England since last December and will have to return the car next week. While he was disappointed that the 100-mile range dropped below 40 miles during some sub-zero weather, he also acknowledged that such weather is uncommon where he lives. The main lesson he has learned is that driving an electric car requires some planning of trips and, as long as people take care, they shouldn't have a problem. Beesley's cold weather experience does however, show again that EVs won't be suitable for everyone in the near term. For others, though, once they get a taste, they don't want to give it up. A tip of the hat to Mos!