BMW has decided that as well as running a heap of Mini Es (Electric Vehicles – EV) in California, New York and New Jersey, it is going to do the same in Europe – supplying 50 Mini E to motorists in Berlin, as well as the 500 in the US.
The Mini E is by no means a finished car; it is in fact a prototype which BMW has decided they will rush forward by letting motorists do the real-world testing. I appreciate the logic in this, but I’m still far from convinced that EVs are the way forward.
It’s hard to see how BMW can lose on this. They have obviously bitten the bullet on EVs, and have put the Mini E out there without any pretence of supplying a finished car. For goodness sake, there aren’t even any back seats – that’s where the huge bank of Lithium-Ion batteries live. And they’re not even offering the cars for free – they’re charging through the nose – $850 per month in the US, and no doubt something comparable in Berlin.
The Mini E, with its huge bank of batteries, produces a very creditable 204bhp, and does the 0-60 sprint in 8.5 seconds – Mini Cooper territory. It has a range of about 150 miles on a charge, which is supplied by a recharging station fitted at the home of the testers. Admittedly, BMW is picking up the $2,000 cost of this, but will be removing the charging stations once the trial is over.
You have to admire car makers pushing the boundaries of technology to produce more economical cars. But the influence of the foolish Co2 targets set by Western governments for the future is what’s driving this. So by going this route car makers are finding a way to bring their average Co2 down to allow them to produce a range of cars. But the data is screwed by the moving of the Co2 output on to the electricity generating stations by going this route – a complete nonsense.
If we are going to go this route then we need to invest in nuclear power stations. But we’d be much better spending money on looking at things like hydrogen cars, than simply massaging the figures.