More data from MINI E trial

August 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

The final glut of data from the UK MINI E field trial has been released. Numbers to crunch include: 40 cars, given out to 62  private individuals and to 76  fleets as pool cars over two six-month trial periods; more than 250,000 miles covered; average daily distance 29.7 miles; average cost of recharging less than 2p a mile.

“Virtually all” recharging was carried out at home, many users confident enough to only charge a couple of times a week, and “almost all” said they’d consider buying an electric car. Distances travelled were actually greater than for cars in an non-electric control group, and the average single journey was 9.5 miles, compared to the seven miles clocked up by the average Brit. One participant regularly did an 88-mile journey, and another clocked up nearly 8000 miles September-March.

Despite the MINI E’s two-seat layout (the batteries live in the back), users said the car was suitable for 80% of their journeys. 90% said that with four seats and a proper boot, it’d cover all their needs. 81% said that plugging in the car to charge at home suited their routine and it was better than having to go to a petrol station; whilst most thought that an infrastructure of public charging points was essential for general use, 72% were happy that home charging served their needs. Though the pool car users took a bit longer to get used to the car and its characteristics, such as learning how to drive to conserve battery power and make the most of the regenerative braking function, the regular users took only about a week to acclimatise.

All the findings will feed back into BMW’s i3 programme, as well as inform policy-makers, infrastructure providers and other stakeholders in the EV industry.


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