October 25, 2014

MINI E – Poor cold weather performance

The MINI E - poor cold weather performance

The MINI E - poor cold weather performance

Testers of the MINI E in the US are reporting cold weather range of a little over 50 miles and poor cold weather traction and handling.

We’ve had our moans about BMW using public Guinea Pigs to develop the MINI E. We understand that bringing a new technology to market takes time and a huge amount of trial-ing, and we certainly understand BMW’s need to speed things along by getting real-world feedback from real-world users. But we do find it a bit much that BMW are charging commercial rates for the privilege of driving an under-developed car with huge drawbacks. They should be paying the testers – not the other way round.

In the US trials users have had problems with both range and charging and in the UK there was a very muted response for volunteers to test the MINI E, probably put off by the two seat configuration (the batteries are where the back seat should be) and the LHD only option.

And now comes news from the US that the cold weather is causing big range problems. The MINI E is said to have a real-world range of around 100 miles, enough for a regular daily commute in Europe and just about enough for regular commutes in the US. But one MINI E tester is reporting that in cold weather (around -5C) the range of the MINI is alarming small. Even with a mid-trip two-hour recharge the MINI E is struggling to 57 miles.

Not only that, but the instant torque of the electric motor – and all the weight over the back wheels where the batteries are – make the MINI E almost useless in slippery conditions.

All of which would make me – if I were paying for the dubious honour of testing a MINI E – ask for my money back.

Source: GM Volt

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