August 1, 2014

More EV puff, this time from BMW

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BMW have revealed that they have successfully completed the year-long trial of their electric car the Mini E.

The initiative, launched with government backing, saw nearly 138 drivers try out 40 Mini E cars over a 12-month period. BMW leased the cars to businesses as well as private individuals.

According to the BMW, 96% of motorists who drove the Mini E during the testing phase were now in favour of purchasing an electric car. What it didn’t say was whether that intention ran to having an EV exclusively and shunning the internal combustion engine completely. Also were the drivers who had been given a Mini E on long term loan angling for a free one?

While each trip made the Mini E (only) averaged 30 miles, while they collectively covered more than 250,000 miles over the trial period. Was that because of range anxiety? Were the test drivers scared to go beyond the city limits for fear of being stranded?

Some of the participants turned out to be extensive users, with one female driver clocking up nearly 8,000 miles during the autumn and winter months. Now that is a lot of trips to the shops.

The report goes on to reveal that “users” (I like that phrase – drug addicts, computer operators and now EV drivers) powered up the car mostly in their homes with three charges per week on average, while the motoring cost to each driver worked out to just 2p per mile. Undoubtedly impressive running costs but, considering the EV uplift at the time of purchase that is probably just as well. Let’s not forget these drivers were essentially driving around in a free car so may be very well disposed to BMW in general and Mini in particular.

“Regular charging of cars did not appear to be a problem for drivers, with nine in 10 saying it actually suited their lifestyle.” I don’t get this; how can plugging your car into the household mains actually “suit” anyone’s lifestyle? It may be less problematic than anticipated but it’s hardly going to enhance your life is it?


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