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Mini E Electric Car Coming To UK, Reaction Not As Expected


2010 mini e electric vehicle ev la auto show 025

2010 mini e electric vehicle ev la auto show 025

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As you may remember from previous articles, our Editor in Chief Lyle Dennis took delivery of his Mini E electric vehicle many months ago now.  The journey with the vehicle, though mainly enjoyable, has had a few setbacks including lack of a proper charging receptacle at home, initial range anxiety, lining up a charging solution while at work, and dealing with obtrusive regenerative braking.  Read previous articles by clicking here.

Lyle took delivery of his Mini as a result of being selected amongst the 10,000 plus individuals applying for the special lease.  He was selected, presented with his vehicle, and charged $850 a month for the privilege of driving this unique EV for a year.

Meanwhile, Mini is kicking off a similar program in the UK.  The results are not quite as expected.  Here in the U.S. 10,000 eager people applied for the chance at a Mini E, in the UK the number is a mere 515.  UK drivers selected to take part in the Mini E program will only pay $640 a month, but few were interested.

Mini has selected 40 individuals to take part in the program.  All of the selected individuals reside in the southern part of the country with the majority in and around Oxford, London, and Andover.  Only one half of the individuals selected are private users, the other half are commercial or municipal users.

Drivers will get their Mini E soon and will lease the vehicles for six months for evaluation purposes.  Hopefully Mini has corrected a few early problems, installed charging outlets ahead of time, and the program goes without any drama.  As a side note, the Mini E is left hand drive only, this may take some practice for drivers in the UK.

Source:  AutoExpress

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Comments (6)
  1. This is a scam by BMW, they are trying to make a quick buck it seems to me, knowing that people want EVs so they give a crappy one and charge an arm and a leg. They don't plan to release this car. It has been in test since 2008. You don't see Nissan or Toyota, or Ford scamming people like this. BMW are sucking on the diesel nozzle and won't change this for the foreseeable future.
     
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  2. There's no money in releasing 40 cars for a mass marketer. At $640 a month including insurance and maintenance for just 40 cars? Bmw couldn't make money on this if it was 40 cars per dealer let alone 40 total cars. If you said a scam to get green cred...
     
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  3. Given that the UK has under 61m people (compared to the US's ~304m), those 515 people are the equivalent of getting ~2,570 people in the US. So there's 1/4th as much interest, but it's not nearly as dramatic of a difference as it at first appears, and probably well within the bounds of differences in program publicity.
     
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  4. How many U.S. drivers would have signed up if they were only right-hand drive? This is not a "minor" inconvenience. If they were serious about marketing in the UK they would have brought out a right-hand drive version.
     
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  5. Maybe it's the fact that in England they are a little more hip to the EV thing. They have public places to charge the car, there is an economic advantage to driving an EV (congestion charges, etc.) So maybe it's the fact that they aren't too keen on paying the lease charge and having no vehicle at the end of the lease to show for it. In England they actually buy those little REVA cars. And if the Mini EVs were available for sale, rather then rent, maybe more people would have been interested. I know I wasn't interested in renting an Mini EV for $840 a month, but if I was buying it, I might be willing to spring for it. But I would still rather it had a back seat.
     
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  6. I was interested in signing up to the trial, but I live out side of the trial area (which was small). I did notice that the signup form was exceedingly long, you have to make a diary on your usage and there were warnings on the info page about distance and performance. I got the distinct impression that they were trying to put people off signing up..
     
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