First Drive: Mini E Electric Vehicle Is Far From Ready For Primetime Page 2

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Mini E electric vehicle

[UPDATE: We received the following comment from Tom Gage at AC Propulsion, which offers a possible explanation for the car we drove:

The vehicle you drove may have been one or two iterations behind in its software. The most current software we have from BMW in our MINI Es reduces the lag. For the record, the responses to accelerator inputs are programmed into the vehicle control computer by BMW. Don't blame AC Propulsion.]

First-class interior

To give BMW its due, the interior amenities of the Mini E are beautifully done. It has the usual power windows and locks, full heating and air-conditioning, and so forth.

The instruments comprise the characteristic Mini huge central speedometer, along with a battery-charge gauge directly in front of the driver and visible through the steering wheel.

This has the unintended effect of focusing attention on every percent of charge that's lost. We think Tesla struck the right balance; the state-of-charge bar gauge is visible, but it's above the driver's left knee, so it's not front and center.

As for Mr. Trepp, BMW describes him as a "venture capitalist whose firm specializes in funding early-stage clean technology companies". He's the first of 450 drivers in the Los Angeles, New York, and New Jersey areas who will spend a year with a Mini E.

We very much hope the Mini E doesn't sour him on EVs altogether. He can do better, and within three years, he'll have several much more pleasant options to choose from. We hope that one of them will be an electric Mini.

But this one ain't it.


 
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