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MINI has always represented engineering innovation and design ingenuity at it best. The MINI E continues that tradition - striking design combined with high performance and a state-of-the-art electric drivetrain.
The MINI E is the first product of BMW's Project i - a program designed to research and develop new types of vehicles for sustainable mobility. The car is being tested on British roads by a mixture of private, corporate and public sector drivers - all of whom will give valuable feedback to the project consortium and UK government.
During everyday usage, the MINI E can travel around 100-120 miles (up to 156 miles in ideal conditions) on a single charge, depending on driving style and conditions, and of course, has the all the characteristic performance for which the MINI is famous. It can sprint from 0-62mph in just 8.5 seconds and has an electronically-limited top speed of 95mph. Power is produced by a front-mounted 150-kilowatt electric motor which generates the equivalent of 201 hp.
The motor’s energy supply comes from a high-performance rechargeable lithium-ion battery which is installed in the rear of the car in place of the back seats. The battery unit – which uses the same technology already widely used in mobile phones and laptops – combines ample storage capacity with remarkable power output. The MINI E can be recharged from empty in around four and a half hours via the dedicated 32 Amp charging point installed by Southern Electric at the MINI E drivers’ homes. The MINI E’s drivetrain features regenerative braking – which claws back the energy lost when the driver releases the accelerator – to extend the range by up to 20 percent.
Marc Cieslak joins the 2010 Bridgestone Eco Rally from Brighton to London, which showcases the latest in environmentally friendly car manufacturing - and attempts to find the greenest car of all.