As many of our readers are aware, our editor in chief Lyle Dennis is one of the few select individuals to currently lease a Mini E prototype. His journeys with this vehicle have been documented several times on our site and now, with the cold of winter upon us, new challenges and possible faults have revealed themselves.
Lyle Dennis resides in New York City, an area that has been hit hard with winter weather in recent weeks. So how does the Mini E fare with the cold winter setting in?
According to Dennis, range has decreased dramatically. As Dennis said, "On a recent trip at a temperature of 23 degrees Fahrenheit and including a two-hour 110 volt charge in the middle, the battery meter hit zero miles/zero percent after just 55 miles. The car is billed as having a 100 mile range."
The commute of Dennis consists of approximately 60 miles round trip, of which most of the trip is highway driving. His daily commuting procedure goes something like this. Leave home with a full charge, drive 27 miles to work. Charge the Mini on a 110 volt outlet for 2 hours, then commute back home. Now that the cold weather has set in, Dennis finds himself driving the Mini E for the last few miles of the trek back home with the battery gauge registering 0 percent.
The same commute in 65 degree weather never caused a zero percent reading. As stated by Dennis, range was typically 75 to 80 miles in warmer weather.
Dennis has not been stranded on his commute home, though range anxiety surely has set in. As Dennis said, "I find myself regularly driving for the last several miles with the battery meter measuring zero miles and zero percent. It is disconcerting. There is also some noticeable power fade, though I don't push it much in that situation as you might imagine."
The reduced range could be attributed to several different things. As Dennis points out, it could be the cold weather reducing range, it could be the battery aging and diminishing in range or it could be that the battery level indicator is not accurate in the cold. Dennis suggests that all three factors likely come in to play.