BMW trialling new electric Mini

BMW's new Mini E boasts an impressive 95mph top speed and 150 miles on a full charge
BMW's new Mini E boasts an impressive 95mph top speed and 150 miles on a full charge

BMW's new Mini E is by far the coolest electric car we've ever seen.

The Mini E is capable of travelling 150 miles on a full charge, with a quoted top speed of 95mph. Impressive stuff, immediately, TechRadar is sure you will agree.

It is whisperingly quiet, though no good for a family car, as BMW's designers have removed the back seats from the British classic (they've been replaced by the 250kg battery pack).

100,000 miles later

The rev counter has been replaced by a dial to show you how much power you have left and how many more miles you can go before you need to plug your new Mini E into the mains. It will currently take around 10 hours to fully recharge and has a battery life expectancy of 100,000 miles.

UK Science Minister, Paul Drayson, recently made an appeal to the motor industry to develop mainstream-acceptable electric vehicles to help reach the governments targets on carbon emissions, reports today's Guardian.

"About 22 per cent of the UK's carbon emissions come from transport, with 13 per cent of these from private cars. According to a study for the Department for Transport, widespread adoption of electric vehicles capable of a range of 50km or more could cut road transport carbon emissions in half."

Not a golf cart

Patrick Muller, BMW's engineer heading up the Mini E project, told the Guardian: "People hear 'electric car' and everybody has a golf cart in mind or something with a flimsy plastic body. Here you get a full-blown car."

Specs wise, under the Mini E's hood is a 150kW electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery, which kicks out around 200 horsepower.

BMW is trialling the first 500 Mini E's in California, New York and New Jersey, with further trials planned for Europe next summer.

The first batch will cost a hefty $850 per month to lease.

Adam Hartley